Are these appropriate? June 23, 2005 11:58 AM   Subscribe

First a bomb guide, now a request for a meth how-to. While these are both interesting posts, they do not seem appropriate for metafilter. Am I crazy?
posted by b1tr0t to Etiquette/Policy at 11:58 AM (114 comments total)

bone is crazy. crazy like a rich sailing genius.
posted by dios at 12:02 PM on June 23, 2005


Yeah, when I read the meth question, I thought, now let's see, what possible legitimate reason could a person have for wanting to know how to make meth? This is one of those things that you don't tell people you are interested in.
posted by slimslowslider at 12:03 PM on June 23, 2005


Am I crazy?

This belongs in AskMe.
posted by jonmc at 12:08 PM on June 23, 2005


what possible legitimate reason could a person have for wanting to know how to make meth?

he/she's writing a crime movie?
posted by matteo at 12:08 PM on June 23, 2005


It'll be interesting to see if mathowie deletes it.
posted by orange swan at 12:08 PM on June 23, 2005


As someone posted, knowing what could get you a dirty look while shopping could be valuable knowledge. For instance, a box of matchbooks.
posted by mischief at 12:10 PM on June 23, 2005


"what possible legitimate reason could a person have for wanting to know how to make meth?"

How is just wanting to make meth not a legitimate reason?
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:10 PM on June 23, 2005


There are potentially a lot of legit reasons, mostly having to do with writing (crime, as matteo suggests, or perhaps a backwoods comedy, or a film about meth, etc, etc)
posted by chaz at 12:10 PM on June 23, 2005


I'm removing it. If you want to know how to make meth, use Google. It can't be that hard. I understand it was an academic exercise, but still, it's a dumb use for ask mefi.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:11 PM on June 23, 2005


See jonmc's comment in the nixerman moralizing metatalk thread:

Perhaps we can add a disclaimer to the green's post box advising against moral condemnations of the poster?

So, if someone asks for advice on how to make a pipe bomb or cook meth, we'll all just have to hold our tongue? This is not NerfWorld, nixerman, get a helmet.
posted by jonmc at 5:31 PM PST on June 22 [!]


Which I guess inspired some people.
posted by mai at 12:14 PM on June 23, 2005


Well for starters, it managed to stop me cringing over some of the nerd-sex advice in the 'I'm a virgin off for a dirty weekend' thread further up the page & then Ethreal Bligh came up with a lucid and succinct comment or two which is pretty much a first so, for purely personal reasons and so not much use for the general community, I'm OK with it.

What do the rest of you think? And how do I dispose of the fresh corpse in my bath..?

On preview: Boo!
posted by i_cola at 12:16 PM on June 23, 2005


well, then, Next I'll propose someone post to AskMe about how to shut their pie holes for a change.
posted by jonmc at 12:18 PM on June 23, 2005


Hey! I learned a lot in jon's Pipe Bomb 101 at Kingsborough Community College...
posted by i_cola at 12:29 PM on June 23, 2005


That you did. Shame about the fingers, though.
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on June 23, 2005


I don't know... Now I want to somehow make a joke about either pie bombs or bomb holes or something. It's not really coming together.
posted by taz at 12:38 PM on June 23, 2005


Now I want to somehow make a joke about either pie bombs

Don't joke about pie bombs, taz. My pal Smitty died in a pie bomb explosion. I can still remember the smell of cordite and banana cream fouling the night air....
posted by jonmc at 12:42 PM on June 23, 2005


The craziest thing to me (although I answered) was that the poster's name is (I assume) their real name. They should probably be glad it was pulled I should think.
posted by peacay at 12:45 PM on June 23, 2005


Nope, it's not the person's real name. It's a character from a movie. They previously used a different character from the same movie before they were booted from the site. This person seems to have turned his life around, but asking about meth is kinda weird and hopefully not a sign of anything to come.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:48 PM on June 23, 2005


If you want to know how to make meth, use Google. It can't be that hard. I understand it was an academic exercise, but still, it's a dumb use for ask mefi.

If the poster wanted a thousand bad results, with varying degrees of accuracy and safety, they could Google it. If they want a real recipe that won't get them killed, AskMe seems like a good place to start.

That was a poor decision, Matt.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:48 PM on June 23, 2005


If they want a real recipe that won't get them killed, AskMe seems like a good place to start.

A real recipe? To do what with? To actually make it? And you think Ask MeFi is a good place to get that kind of info? You're serious about this?

That was a poor decision, Matt.

For fuck's sake, the server lives in America, home of The War on Drugs. Please start your own large community site that may or may not be monitored by law enforcement, and start letting people talk about tips on illegal narcotics creation, with sample recipes, possible pitfalls, and good sources for the raw material.

Let it run for a couple years, then get back to me on whether or not I made a poor decision.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:53 PM on June 23, 2005


For fuck's sake, the server lives in America, home of The War on Drugs. Please start your own large community site that may or may not be monitored by law enforcement, and start letting people talk about tips on illegal narcotics creation, with sample recipes, possible pitfalls, and good sources for the raw material..

Matt, I totally understand your desire to keep that sort of thing of Mefi for liability reasons, but you might want to talk to a real lawyer about that. As far as I know the only information which is in any way illegal is child porn, but obviously I don't know all the way, and often lawyers advise their clients to stear away from legal grey areas anyway.

I do know that someone in the government did propose a bill that would outlaw that sort of thing, but it was never passed, such a law would clearly violate freedom of speech.

Also, Methamphetamine is not a schedule-1 drug in the United States (like cocaine, Heroin, or Marijuana), it's marked as "desoxyn" and is used to treat ADD in adults and children.

I've been able to get highly technical questions answered here, if I was a chemist (which I'm not) I would have no qualms answering a question like that due to my views on drug use.
posted by delmoi at 1:13 PM on June 23, 2005


Good delete. The question was a troll.
posted by Specklet at 1:15 PM on June 23, 2005


Also, matt I don't see how anyone who created something as addicting as metafilter should be passing judgement on stuff like this! :P
posted by delmoi at 1:18 PM on June 23, 2005


I dunno delmoi, the way America is run right now, I think Matt is right to err on the side of caution.
posted by chunking express at 1:19 PM on June 23, 2005


If the poster wanted a thousand bad results, with varying degrees of accuracy and safety, they could Google it. If they want a real recipe that won't get them killed, AskMe seems like a good place to start.

That was a poor decision, Matt.


please let this be an intentional troll and not a serious statement. please oh please.
posted by puke & cry at 1:21 PM on June 23, 2005


A real recipe? To do what with? To actually make it?

Who knows? To write a book. To teach a class. To make it themselves. To warn someone they know that they're making it wrong and they're going to kill themselves. Why does it matter?

And you think Ask MeFi is a good place to get that kind of info? You're serious about this?

The members of this little community have amazed me in the past. You've got chemists, intelligence agents, aeronautical engineers, inventors, lawyers, newspaper reporters... all kinds of experts in their fields.

Anyway, almost all of the posts were merely links to additional information where someone else was hosting the (completely legal) information. I'm just surprised at such a cowardly reaction to the slightest possibility of offending the delicate sensibilities of someone out there who might not approve.

please let this be an intentional troll and not a serious statement. please oh please.

Have the collective balls of the citizens of this country entirely whithered away? My disagreement was not meant as a troll.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:30 PM on June 23, 2005


Sweet Lord, C_D, just because I don't think the government should restrict our ability to share or access information, does not mean that I think mathowie is obligated to allow us to share or request any information we want, nor is he commiting some kind of moral lapse when he chooses to remove something for whatever reason.
posted by jonmc at 1:34 PM on June 23, 2005


I thought the answers were surprisingly good/informative and toed the legal line nicely, and I'm disappointed they've been lost.
posted by smackfu at 1:41 PM on June 23, 2005


I think Civil_Disobediant is now obligated to write up and host on his website, or equivalent, a recipe. For freedom's sake.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:43 PM on June 23, 2005


Have the collective balls of the citizens of this country entirely whithered away? My disagreement was not meant as a troll.

No, this is more of a common sense kind of thing and less of a shriveled testicles kind of thing.
posted by puke & cry at 1:52 PM on June 23, 2005


EB: Unfortunately my bandwidth has been exceeded for the month.

does not mean that I think mathowie is obligated to allow us to share or request any information we want, nor is he commiting some kind of moral lapse when he chooses to remove something for whatever reason

You read the thread, right? There were no instructions in that thread. There were links to other websites, and some very round-about descriptions that would be useless for synthesis.

I make the mistake, every so often, of feeling like this place is an open community, where people are freely encouraged to contribute and discuss, provided they are civil to each other (and even then, not necessarily). Of course Matt's not obligated to keep the post. Matt can do whatever he wants to with his digital fifedom.

My humble apologies for thinking better of this place. My deepest thanks for the cold spash of water in the face.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:54 PM on June 23, 2005


...the only information which is in any way illegal is child porn

As of today pretty much any sexually explicit image hosted on this site could get Matt in trouble. Not that it's been a huge issue in the past, but it's something to think about when contemplating those goat links.

...and yeah asking about making meth was a terrible idea. The bomb thread kinda turned into an interesting one though.
posted by bonehead at 2:03 PM on June 23, 2005


It's not fair to fault Matt, C_D. At the end of the day it's his ass on the line. As for balls, remember there's a very thin line between the brave and the stupid. Matt's reaction might've been drastic (most of the answers were just links to other resources) but he's got a wife and kid to think about. Like smackfu, I was surprised to see that the answers were pretty good.
posted by nixerman at 2:05 PM on June 23, 2005


If the poster wanted a thousand bad results, with varying degrees of accuracy and safety, they could Google it.

** trailer explodes **

Thanks fuckers.
posted by yerfatma at 2:12 PM on June 23, 2005


At the end of the day it's his ass on the line.

People are amazingly courageous when it comes to other people's life, liberty, and happiness.

It's a character from a movie. They previously used a different character from the same movie before they were booted from the site.

Anybody else thinking what I'm thinking?

posted by languagehat at 2:18 PM on June 23, 2005


Allright, first of all the question was not a troll. Matt, once again, is right on the money: It was an academic question. No gang I am not addicted to meth. I honestly did google for info, though.

The question to me served two purposes: One, how the hell do people actually make that shit? and Two: Academic excersize.

I apologize if anyone felt my question was wrong in some moralistic sense. Matt deleted it for his own reasons and this is his computer. That's fine.
posted by Dean Keaton at 2:20 PM on June 23, 2005


Who is Keyser Soze? He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
posted by puke & cry at 2:23 PM on June 23, 2005


And please stop jumping on civil disobedient, he is fighting for the right of free information, which I hope we will continue to fight for.
posted by Dean Keaton at 2:24 PM on June 23, 2005


Keyser Soze was a teenage male from Oregon, IIRC.
posted by keswick at 2:27 PM on June 23, 2005


I have no problem with fighting for the right of free information, but fight for it yourself, don't urge somebody else to do it for you.
posted by languagehat at 2:40 PM on June 23, 2005


?

I was by asking the question in the first place, silly.
posted by Dean Keaton at 2:44 PM on June 23, 2005


"Please start your own large community site that may or may not be monitored by law enforcement, and start letting people talk about tips on illegal narcotics creation, with sample recipes, possible pitfalls, and good sources for the raw material."

Hmmmmmm...... The thread had links to many such sites. There doesn't seem to be any lack of them. So if your insinuation is that you would face legal action by letting such a question be asked, I think that's......... obviously not true.

We all need to decide how forcefully we want to flip off the feds. But I think stressing over a discussion which just links to other websites is overly cautious in this case.

If it makes you happier, I'm sure dozens of people here would be happy to put these links on their site in the name of freedom. We could even start a meme where thousands of people would host the links.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:59 PM on June 23, 2005


Matt is really in a catch-22 isn't he... He wants this place to be a community, but on the other hand it seems he wants it to remain his property.
posted by Chuckles at 3:09 PM on June 23, 2005


I really mean that, by the way. It wasn't just supposed to be a 'snark'. Even if this one wasn't _the_ impossible legal grey area (as delmoi says) somebody would come up with a question that is impossible, just to test the system.
posted by Chuckles at 3:22 PM on June 23, 2005


This makes me want to go through my anarchist's cookbook, (and Necronomicon), and post a question about every chapter.

My wife used to work at an independently owned bookstore for 6 years as their ordering dept. Every once in a while, the owner would come back with a copy of some book and said, 'get rid of this'. One was a book about a UCLA arts professor, Paul McCarthy .
When ever she would come across something that they were going to 'censor' or at least not be available to customers, she brought it home.
The boss never said 'return it for a refund' he only said 'get this outa here'.
There's a lot more censorship than you'd like to believe. Even in a totally liberal bookstore, there are things that people will pick up, open, be totally shocked, run out of the bookstore screaming, and be censored that afternoon.

You'll never miss it, I'm sure.
posted by Balisong at 3:24 PM on June 23, 2005


The thread had links to many such sites.

And people were talking about the materials required to make it, the smells produced, and how likely you were to get caught.

People are weird about drugs in the US. I think they should be legal, and yet, I've never done any in my life (I know, I really should someday). But the only personal life problems this site has ever caused me were related to drug-related posts here and the psychopaths that reported me to higher ups. So I'm sensitive about hosting these sorts of things.

first of all the question was not a troll. Matt, once again, is right on the money: It was an academic question

You're telling me you didn't ask it as a direct response to jonmc's comment? Was that just a coincidence?

He wants this place to be a community, but on the other hand it seems he wants it to remain his property.

Correction: He wants this place to be a community, but on the other hand he wants to keep it online and running and avoid any legal hassles being liable for every word said on the site.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:27 PM on June 23, 2005


EB: I think Civil_Disobediant is now obligated to write up and host on his website, or equivalent, a recipe. For freedom's sake.

C_D: Unfortunately my bandwidth has been exceeded for the month.

Well, then, we'll all look forward to seeing it up there next month, right? You know, for kids freedom's sake.
posted by scody at 3:36 PM on June 23, 2005


You're telling me you didn't ask it as a direct response to jonmc's comment?

Sorry for making that comment. I was just trying to make a point. I didn't know people were gonna go off half-cocked.
posted by jonmc at 3:40 PM on June 23, 2005


I was by asking the question in the first place, silly.

Yell "bomb" in an airport and let us know how the trial goes in an UpdateFilter post.
posted by Rothko at 3:44 PM on June 23, 2005


If you want information on drugs, that's why we have erowid. If you want information on bombs, that's why we have indymedia.
posted by darukaru at 3:45 PM on June 23, 2005


I know where you're coming from, matt, erring on the side of caution, and it's probably a wise thing to do. I would just like to point out three important facts, however.

(1) The existence, in the US, of High Times magazine.
(2) I've read a book, which I know is published in the US, describing in close to scientifically accurate detail the production of cocaine and LSD. As far as I know it's been on the shelves for half a decade.
(3) If this site ever got into any kind of shit, do you have any idea the mass of people who would be behind you pulling you out of it?

But, that all said, I'm sure Metafilter's evil, drunken, wife-beating brother Metachat would be happy to provide answers instead.

On preview: >If you want information on * that's why we have bloody encyclopedias, search engines, journals, libraries. Have you worked out why ask.metafilter exists yet?
posted by Jimbob at 3:51 PM on June 23, 2005


He wants this place to be a community, but on the other hand it seems he wants it to remain his property.

It is his property, as a factual and legal matter. That means whatever liability there is (if any), gets stuck on him. It isn't a question of what he wants. Matt can't tell the feds: it's a community, not my property; give all my lovely community mates a call rather than breaking down my door.

If he's being cautious here, I say that's his right.
posted by Mid at 4:00 PM on June 23, 2005


i'm kind of surprised matt still doesn't have a clear line on what the legal position is. i would have thought that amongst the blogerati, this kind of thing (what can and cannot appear on a web site) was both important and well known. don't the kind of people involved in free-speech motivated projects like cc know what you can publish and what you can't?

or he does have a clear line and people are wrong saying he's "just being cautious"?
posted by andrew cooke at 4:13 PM on June 23, 2005


I too had been wondering lately just how meth was made, and I was considering posting a similar question today. That is, until I read jonmc's comment and decided that no one would believe the coincidence.
posted by mischief at 4:24 PM on June 23, 2005


I don't know how to mwke meth, yet cause the website was taken down.
But I have some highly concentrated Sudafed (tm) That I don't know what to do with...
Thanks..
posted by Balisong at 4:30 PM on June 23, 2005


er make.
posted by Balisong at 4:31 PM on June 23, 2005


Holy shit, let him be cautious! Even if there is tons of evidence showing Matt would see no blowback from allowing that question to exist, he wants to be safe about it. I've talked to him face to face about shit he had to deal with over much less. Let it be.
posted by Dean Keaton at 4:31 PM on June 23, 2005


Nope, it's not the person's real name. It's a character from a movie. They previously used a different character from the same movie before they were booted from the site.

Hah. You can run but you can't hide from the Reputation Engineā„¢!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:35 PM on June 23, 2005


I think everyone may have been a little more comfortable with this post (if only a little) if the poster has said why he wanted the information, for example, academic interest as he has since stated. At least we could belive we weren't helping someone down a road of addiction.
posted by slimslowslider at 4:51 PM on June 23, 2005


so Dean Keaton is indeed Keyser Soze?
posted by puke & cry at 4:58 PM on June 23, 2005


Word up to language hat and stav - I thought the same thing when I read Matt's comment. Didn't see the post in question, however, so don't know what KS's new nick is...wondered how long he'd be able to stay away....:) And is it any wonder that someone using the name Civil Disobedient is urging someone else (Matt) to take chances with his (Matt's) website and server while s/he smugly snipes away, secure in his/her bandwidth exceededness??
posted by Lynsey at 4:58 PM on June 23, 2005


I think everyone may have been a little more comfortable with this post (if only a little) if the poster has said why he wanted the information

Hello? The question was obviously a smart-ass response to jonmc's comment. Given that, and the fact that methedrine is just about the worst fucking recreational drug in the world, can we possibly forgive our host for wanting to wait for a better hill to die on?
posted by timeistight at 5:11 PM on June 23, 2005


Dean Keaton is indeed Keyser Soze

Boy, that cop sure thought so but he had egg ALL OVER HIS FACE!
posted by dflemingdotorg at 5:37 PM on June 23, 2005


I was by asking the question in the first place, silly.

I wasn't talking about your asking the question, silly. I was talking about people shooting their mouths off about how Matt had to leave it up for freedom's sake. I'm sure they would have bravely posted a blog entry if Matt got into trouble doing it. Or: what Lynsey said.
posted by languagehat at 5:43 PM on June 23, 2005


Ethreal Bligh came up with a lucid and succinct comment or two which is pretty much a first

I missed that! I sure as heck wish Matt had left it up long enough that we could all have enjoyed that event.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:13 PM on June 23, 2005


Given that, and the fact that methedrine is just about the worst fucking recreational drug in the world, can we possibly forgive our host for wanting to wait for a better hill to die on?

correction; i think you will have to replace that with jimson weed or diphenhydramine my friend.
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 6:30 PM on June 23, 2005


I'm surprised that anyone who pays even the slightest attention to the doings of various levels of American government would question Matt wanting to tread very carefully with potential sources of complaint - especially on areas that he's indicated he's had complaints before.

The fact that the information is not illegal to post (and I have little doubt it was all legal) does not prevent an overzealous cop or prosecutor from starting something - and the seizure of computers, servers etc., and the costs to eventually get a judge to say "you did nothing wrong", are likely ruinous.
posted by birdsquared at 6:53 PM on June 23, 2005


the server lives in America, home of The War on Drugs

so that's why the site is always down -- the server's on drugs!

*waits for Dean Keaton to be struck down by the banhammer, looks forward to Verbal Kint, Fred Fenster, and Michael McManus to join the site and start stirring the shit*
posted by matteo at 6:58 PM on June 23, 2005


timeistight is right to note that the question was a smart-ass grudge post from another thread elsewhere on the site; it deserved to be taken down just on that ground alone.

But timeistight and mathowie and all of the rest of you running scared of freedom of information about illegal drugs are dead wrong in thinking there's any way whatsoever Matt could get into legal trouble for linking to pages on long-standing, excellent and honest drug information sites like Lycaeum and Vaults of Erowid. Why do you think those sites still exist? Not only are you wrong for running from them, but the very fear that keeps you from protecting your rights under the U.S. Constitution is exactly the feature that allows the far right to keep pissing on that very document.

Bra-fucking-vo.
posted by mediareport at 7:05 PM on June 23, 2005


Have you worked out why ask.metafilter exists yet?
To trick the unwitting into revealing embarassing personal details so that the Mill of Snark can have more grist?
posted by darukaru at 7:11 PM on June 23, 2005


But timeistight and mathowie and all of the rest of you running scared

But not you, you're so rough and tough, fonzie.

You ever stop to think that maybe matt dosen't want to be running a site that gives directions on how to concoct a substance that fucks up people's lives or is that merely simplistic moralism that cramps your style? And even if it was, it's matt who built this playground that we're cavorting in. So he gets to make the rules.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 PM on June 23, 2005


Dean Keaton is indeed Keyser Soze

I don't know how this whole thing got started, but no.
posted by Dean Keaton at 7:45 PM on June 23, 2005


You ever stop to think that maybe matt dosen't want to be running a site that gives directions on how to concoct a substance that fucks up people's lives or is that merely simplistic moralism that cramps your style?

No, because that's not what Matt said in the thread. If you have special insight into Matt's thinking beyond what he's posted here, please do feel free to share. Until then, I can only respond to the reasons Matt presents, and those, in my opinion, are piss-poor excuses for failing to support the notion of free speech online.
posted by mediareport at 7:54 PM on June 23, 2005


then, jonmc, why doesn't he come out and say so. why all the waffling about on about the war on drugs?

he's free to take a moral stand. he didn't. he blamed "the man".
posted by andrew cooke at 8:02 PM on June 23, 2005


oh. or what he said.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:02 PM on June 23, 2005


The DMCA should demonstrate to us that any sort of commonsensical test for what should be protected speech is naive. I really don't know what the case law is in the specific case we're talking about, but if there ever was a time when I'd blithely assume 1st Amendment protection, it's no more.

Anyway, even if there's tons of case law that says that publishing/promulgating a detailed recipe for the "kitchen" production of a Schedule II drug is protected, there's a whole bunch of ways that the DEA and others can make people's lives hell regardless.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:08 PM on June 23, 2005


Didn't see the post in question, however...

The post contained links to other sites that would bear the burden of having their doors kicked-in by the jackbooted thuggery of the DEA, their servers demagnetized on the whims of the NSA, and their freedom smited under the all-watching eye of the FBI. But you'd know that already if you read all the comments in this thread.

And is it any wonder that someone using the name Civil Disobedient...

... a handle I've been using since before the internet

is urging someone else (Matt) to take chances with his (Matt's) website and server...

...already mentioned, much more eloquently, by the hat. But big-ups for the parentheticals. They really helped clear up who you were talking about.

while s/he smugly snipes away...

...where you see sniping, I see a disagreement. Where I see an syncophant yes-man, you see your reflection.

secure in his/her bandwidth exceededness??

Give me a fucking break. Again, this pathetic argument has already been covered in this thread. Twice.

Well, this is fun. Though, I'd really prefer the pile-on if you were all naked and covered in baby oil.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:34 PM on June 23, 2005


mediareport: I'm having trouble reading some of the illegal drug and bomb recipes on your website. They all seem to be in invisible ink or something.
posted by Mid at 8:40 PM on June 23, 2005


Dean Keaton is indeed Keyser Soze

I don't know how this whole thing got started, but no.


Well, Matt said the following:
Nope, it's not the person's real name. It's a character from a movie. They previously used a different character from the same movie before they were booted from the site. This person seems to have turned his life around, but asking about meth is kinda weird and hopefully not a sign of anything to come.


It is the first thing that comes to mind. And if you're not Soze, then either Matt's totally wrong or there's another character from The Usual Suspects that got booted recently.
posted by puke & cry at 9:16 PM on June 23, 2005


Once again, no.
posted by Dean Keaton at 9:21 PM on June 23, 2005


I'm having trouble reading some of the illegal drug and bomb recipes on your website.

Jesus Christ, is this the level of argument here now? I don't know what you're talking about, Mid, but I'm talking about links to sites where those recipes exist. Rest assured I've done plenty of that, and plenty of other fully legal online discussion about illegal drugs (if you don't believe me, search 'todd morman mushrooms' sometime for a start; it's not a flattering picture but what the hell, we're in service of a higher cause here).
posted by mediareport at 9:27 PM on June 23, 2005


Egads, people. Total coincidence that we were just talking about cooking meth in an AskMe on another thread about moralizing to AskMe advice-seekers.

DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.
posted by dreamsign at 10:10 PM on June 23, 2005


y6y6y6 : "There doesn't seem to be any lack of them. So if your insinuation is that you would face legal action by letting such a question be asked, I think that's......... obviously not true."

Obviously he wouldn't be exposed to legal action by posting child porn, because there doesn't seem to be any lack of child porn sites on the net either. I'm not saying that linking these sites is illegal, just that the logic ("they exist, therefore they're legal") makes little sense.

birdsquared : "The fact that the information is not illegal to post (and I have little doubt it was all legal) does not prevent an overzealous cop or prosecutor from starting something - and the seizure of computers, servers etc., and the costs to eventually get a judge to say 'you did nothing wrong', are likely ruinous."

Exactly.

mediareport : "those, in my opinion, are piss-poor excuses for failing to support the notion of free speech online."

And avoiding having your computers impounded, getting dragged into court multiple times, getting an FBI file, paying massive legal expenses to defend your actions, possibly having false charges brought against you, and possibly getting fired from your place of work are, in my opinion, really really good excuses. Look, some of us are the kind who would take a bullet to save someone, some aren't, and some people wouldn't even call the cops. Category one is called "brave", category two is called "normal", and category three is called "cowardly". Matt here is being a totally normal human being. Yeah, that would be cool if he was a brave fighter. It would be cool if I was a brave fighter. It would be cool if we were all brave fighters. But he's not, and there's nothing wrong with that. If he was reporting IP addresses of users who mentioned drugs to the feds, then he'd be a cowardly bastard. But that's not what he's doing.
posted by Bugbread at 10:11 PM on June 23, 2005


That's a fine practical set of reasons, bugbread, but it gives the high ground, which is to actually try to have an adult conversation with mediareport about freedom of knowledge at any cost. Some people study this aspect of freedom of speech for years, but of course the extremists have a ready answer: all knowledge should be readily available! (or) Ban anything "dangerous"! Forget talking about what reasonable, fallible people are likely to do with said knowledge. Guns don't kill people; people kill people. Forget that you can hand a gun to an angry man. It's not your responsibility what he does with it. (good segue to hate speech, but again, more complexity. sorry folks)
posted by dreamsign at 10:20 PM on June 23, 2005


But does anyone know how to make banana bread?
posted by xmutex at 10:42 PM on June 23, 2005


You are sick xmutex.
posted by Dean Keaton at 11:03 PM on June 23, 2005


I know how to make banana bread AND some killer home-made banana ice cream.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 11:17 PM on June 23, 2005


nn
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 11:18 PM on June 23, 2005


i'm kind of surprised matt still doesn't have a clear line on what the legal position is. i would have thought that amongst the blogerati, this kind of thing (what can and cannot appear on a web site) was both important and well known. don't the kind of people involved in free-speech motivated projects like cc know what you can publish and what you can't?
posted by andrew cooke at 4:13 PM PST on June 23 [!]


Remember, there's two sets of legal. There's one set of legal where you don't get conviced and go to jail, or lose your lawsuit. Then there's legal where you don't ever get arrested or sued.

Often times, if you just ask a lawyer "should I do this" they'll tell you if it's the second kind of legal, if doing it won't get you any "trouble" at all.

I can think of two instances off the top of my head where people followed the letter of the law, and still payed a heavy price.

In one case, a guy was selling pictures of under age girls in bikinis and "handbras" on his website. Nothing you wouldn't see various underage models in in advertizements, etc. They were meticulous, followed the letter of the law. Kept perfict records, etc.

The site owner ended up being denied bail and sat in prison for months before winning his case.

Another case would be this post on the blue just posted today. I'm sure there are a lot more.

It never hurts to play it safe,
posted by delmoi at 11:29 PM on June 23, 2005


weretable, I'm very interested in your recipe for "killer home-made banana ice cream." This sounds delish. Please share and redeem this thread.
posted by nixerman at 11:44 PM on June 23, 2005


dreamsign is deliberately mischaracterizing my statements in this thread and is not a reliable source for information about my positions. In that thread, I said that offering moral advice in AskMe is ok, citing specific examples, but attacked simplistic judgmental crap aimed at the poster as the bullshit it is, and said those folks deeply offended should just flag the thread and move on. To dreamsign, this means I wouldn't stop to help someone being beaten in the street.

It's impossible to debate with that kind of person. S/he has admitted to missing entire parts of the discussion while continuing to sling nonsense, and still refuses to address the issue of differing opinions about what constitutes a post worth slinging harsh judgment at. My simple solution - don't sling harsh judgments at AskMe posts - is now being used by dreamsign to slam me as an "extremist." Fuck that noise.

Anyway, from delmoi: It never hurts to play it safe

There's such a thing as too safe, too. This goes way beyond the meth-cooking post (which, again, was a stupid troll and deserved to be pulled). But if MeFi isn't a place where ideas annoying/dangerous to the mainstream can be openly discussed, then what is it? Siding squarely on the side of existing law (including decades of free speech case law) is hardly playing it dangerous.
posted by mediareport at 11:47 PM on June 23, 2005


Aww, I've missed keyser, not as much as amberglow has I'm sure, but still...
posted by justgary at 12:29 AM on June 24, 2005


What are the chances of this not being the case?

Same movie, different name, same stupid questions and matt kind of gives it away up the top there.
posted by longbaugh at 12:57 AM on June 24, 2005


I'm just surprised at such a cowardly reaction to the slightest possibility of offending the delicate sensibilities of someone out there who might not approve.

Are you fucking kidding? Dick.
posted by cortex at 9:58 AM on June 24, 2005


Are you fucking kidding?

HOW DARE ME!

Did your screen reader crash, Stevie? Answered already in the thread you quoted.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:11 AM on June 24, 2005


man, you all are still jibbering? Lay off that meth, kids.
posted by jonmc at 11:31 AM on June 24, 2005


Civil_Disobedient, I have a hard time maintaining righteous wrath against someone who writes with such brio. Could you dumb it down a little? Thanks.
posted by languagehat at 11:54 AM on June 24, 2005


C_D: the theoritical reasons a person might ask the question do not make the practical reasons another person might reduce liability in a nutso anti-drug government into "a cowardly reaction to the slightest possibility of offending the delicate sensibilities of someone out there who might not approve."

You don't recognize that asshole feds (possibly prompted by asshole citizens) could make mathowie's life difficult for basically no good reason? Or do you just consider that a fair trade for your good feelings about the state of the collective balls of MeFi?

He's already acknowledged he's had trouble with related shit in the past. I'm willing to bet he didn't mean that someone with delicate sensibilities dropped him and email saying they were offended. You'd prefer to see his life fucked with than see the occasional grey area post get snipped?

You're talking shit about someone for not being your own personal 1st amendment superhero. I'm not saying you don't feel like you're position is ideologically grounded. I'm just saying it's pure dickishness on your part.
posted by cortex at 3:04 PM on June 24, 2005


man, you all are still jibbering? Lay off that meth, kids.

jonmc for the win.
posted by Rothko at 3:06 PM on June 24, 2005


Dean Keaton in for the 100th post win
posted by Dean Keaton at 3:29 PM on June 24, 2005


Back when I was picking beans in Guatemala, we used to make fresh coffee, right off the trees I mean. That was good. This is shit but, hey, I'm in a police station.
posted by cortex at 3:35 PM on June 24, 2005


You don't recognize that asshole feds (possibly prompted by asshole citizens) could make mathowie's life difficult for basically no good reason?

Sure they could. I'm sure they could find something even without the thread in question. Where's the line in the sand?

Could you dumb it down a little?

Your mom.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:24 PM on June 24, 2005


Sure they could. I'm sure they could find something even without the thread in question.

Sure they could. Someone could arrest me for jaywalking. That doesn't mean I'm obliged to jump up and down and yell at cop cars while I do it. Risk management is part of life.

Where's the line in the sand?

In my opinion, somewhere considerably distant from the act you were openly labeling as cowardice. The further a thread falls into Red Flag territory, the more understandable it's deletion is, as depressing an indictment of our law enforcement system as that may be.

This is a free speech issue insofar as Matt has to measure the unfettered discussion of thousands of other people hanging out on his dime vs. his personal risk. Calling someone a coward for not being balls-to-the-wall h4rdc0re is rude. It's cutting them down for not accepting an unrealistic standard you wish to project onto them. It's being a dick, neh?

Calls for you to host your own meth site may have been snarky, but the point is valid: you accept the risk for it, you can talk about bravery. I am not going to call you a coward for declining to do so, just as I see it as completely ridiculous for you to solicit such an act of personal risk and defiance from someone else. Set aside the fact that the person in question actually provides a service/hangout/whatever-it-is-you-get-from-Mefi to you.
posted by cortex at 4:47 PM on June 24, 2005


C_D: FREEDOM FIGHTER!!

FIGHT THE MATT!
posted by puke & cry at 5:12 PM on June 24, 2005


Your mom.

So's your old man!

That's better -- thanks.
posted by languagehat at 5:25 PM on June 24, 2005


mediareport Mischaracterization?

S/he has admitted to missing entire parts of the discussion

You said: "what about this comment?" and I answered honestly that I hadn't seen that single comment. Entire parts of the discussion? Do tell me about mischaracterization. What about all the criticisms I levelled that you didn't even bother responding to? (hint: "wow, you must be really desperate" is not an adult response)

but attacked simplistic judgmental crap

Again, the only one carrying out simple moralizing was you, a la "if you don't have something nice to say". The rest of us were actually trying to draw a rational line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, but that wasn't black and white enough for you. Yes, that's an extreme position. Try visiting the middle. It's nice here.

The meth post was obviously a response to the discussion being had about abuse of AskMe posters. That being the case, this was not a debate about legal liability but about:
i) the appropriateness of certain types of questions on AskMe (and yes, mediar, if they're all appropriate, that makes you a tad exteme)
ii) if inappropriate, what is an acceptable response by the MeFi community

We really need an answer to those -- from the community. The legal question is for matthowie to decide for himself.
posted by dreamsign at 5:55 PM on June 24, 2005


mediareport : "But if MeFi isn't a place where ideas annoying/dangerous to the mainstream can be openly discussed, then what is it?"

Presumably, a place where you can discuss ideas annoying/dangerous to the mainstream, and possibly annoying but not dangerous to Matt. I'm totally fine with that.

Civil_Disobedient : "I'm sure they could find something even without the thread in question. Where's the line in the sand?"

The line in the sand is right here. I mean, what kind of bizarre question is that? "Issue A doesn't get deleted, but more severe issue B does. Where is the line in the sand?" Well, somewhere between issue A and issue B, obviously.
posted by Bugbread at 7:05 PM on June 24, 2005


Metafilter: The line in the sand is right here. I mean, what kind of bizarre question is that?

I had to do it. It's not even that funny, but I still had to do it. I don't know why.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:16 PM on June 24, 2005


Wake me up when someone says shitbag.
posted by Mid at 8:05 PM on June 24, 2005


MetaTalk: We prefer our pile-ons naked and covered in baby oil
posted by Mitheral at 8:19 PM on June 24, 2005


I am not going to call you a coward for declining to do so

I didn't decline--in fact, I said quite the opposite. Not like anyone cares at this point.

The line in the sand is right here. [...] Well, somewhere between issue A and issue B, obviously.

It's right here. Around here. That is, it's in the vicinity of here. Approximately, I mean. It's definately somewhere between over there and over here. Obviously.

That's better -- thanks.

I really wish I'd written you're mom instead. Oh well... I guess the "hindsight is 20/20" cliche is probably inappropriate after the Stevie Wonder crack.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:57 PM on June 24, 2005


shitbag
posted by dreamsign at 12:41 AM on June 25, 2005


i) the appropriateness of certain types of questions on AskMe (and yes, mediar, if they're all appropriate, that makes you a tad exteme)

They should all be appropriate.

ii) if inappropriate, what is an acceptable response by the MeFi community

Assuming that I am some sort of extremist crazy person and I feel that punishing some anonymous person is my job, then probably by not posting inane trivial responses in this thread or the originating thread.
posted by Dean Keaton at 4:28 AM on June 25, 2005


> I am not going to call you a coward for declining to do so

I didn't decline--in fact, I said quite the opposite. Not like anyone cares at this point.


You miss my point. You want to post a meth recipe on the web? Go for it. You don't want to? That's fine too. I'm in no position to make that decision for you, and I'd be a real dick to give you crap for your decision.

Someone else DID decline, and you got all up in their shit for it. You were being very, very uncivil.
posted by cortex at 10:51 AM on June 25, 2005


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