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MetaTalk post: Flag, you're it.
For what its worth, I do sometimes flag something even when I'm on duty that I know that I don't like but I'm not sure whether I'm just an outlier - similar to why jessamyn does it.

Flags in ask mefi tend to have more weight, in that just one flag will get me to go take a look at it. Given that, I think more people flagging is a good thing. Something you flag won't necessarily invoke a deletion but, conversely, I think there is plenty of stuff still out there that should... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by vacapinta at 12:55 AM on August 20, 2011
I'm really curious, actually, whether there's a lot of overlap n the flaggers and flagees. My general feeling is that the people who get flagged a lot are also the people who do a lot of the flagging but that may just be confirmation bias or just another way of looking at people who are just heavy site users generally.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 6:49 PM on August 19, 2011
I went looking at stats again a bit this afternoon, in an attempt to get started on doing a more comprehensive look at overall flagging behavior, so I actually have a ready answer or two!

A lot of flags for one person to have given is anywhere in four digits, say. That covers the top 25 or so all time flaggers; the person who has flagged the most has flagged 3,539 things all told. Number 25 has flagged just over 1000 things.

There's been 8,650... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 6:33 PM on August 19, 2011
I think more people flagging is generally a good thing in terms of getting our eyes on stuff to decide if it needs attention or not, yeah.

If we saw a serious change upward in the sort of flag volume we were dealing with, we'd probably deal with it by tweaking the existing tools to e.g. show a larger Hot Spots list or otherwise make it easier to sift through the flags. In general, the overall "how" for dealing with flags is something that works regardless of... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 2:23 PM on August 19, 2011
Yeah, it's one of those things where if anything, a consistent flagging agenda would become conspicuous when someone was getting flagged way more often than seemed to make any sense based on what they were saying.

The miniscule biases of e.g. someone just being slightly more likely to flag a person they're annoyed by than any baseline mefite are hard to test for but also hard to see manifesting as a serious informational issue with flagging as an aggregate feedback... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 2:14 PM on August 19, 2011
What jess said, though there's the "unless it's a slow day" provision, in which case cleaning out the busy stuff in the flag queue and checking out stuff that's only got one flag is definitely part of my routine.

To some extent, checking-every-flag doesn't happen in contentious or already-had-a-problem threads because by the time one or more of us is camping in a thread looking for trouble, we'll see the problematic stuff as it comes along. At that point we... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:04 PM on August 19, 2011
We check out every single flag in AskMe [and smaller sites like Projects, IRL and Music] and usually something will have to get a few flags in MeFi before we're concerned [threshhold is higher for posts than for comments] and something's got to be much higher than that in MeTa since we rarely do any mod actions over here other than closing threads.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 12:59 PM on August 19, 2011
Maybe we could see the sparkline for cortex or jessamyn as a demo? Pretty please?

Here's what my graph looks like, with the start of the raw flag list as well. Worth stating for the sake of pedantry that "sparkline" implies something smaller and less adorned that even this simple graph, but the spirit of the thing is the same—it's a handy at-a-glance thing for us to get a general idea about a situation rather than something we chew on... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 12:39 PM on August 19, 2011
Do mefites know you're using charts/graphs to asses their behavior?

People who care enough to do a close read on the things we say here or the talks mathowie or I give usually know these things, yes. We are not a HR department and we are not the government. We have a lot of tools at our disposal, most of which we made ourselves, to help us keep this website running smoothly. We've been pretty forthcoming about all of them. People have seen... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 12:34 PM on August 19, 2011
Nope, flagging is something that's mod-only visible and will be staying that way. If you've got questions about your own comments, we are more than happy to tell you if they've been attracting flags [though not by who] and we can loo at a user's aggregated flags-over-time with a little sparkline thing which we use to see if maybe someone's having an out-of-charachter bad day or something, but we feel pretty strongly about flags just being a "hey look at/fix this" indicator to the mod... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:17 AM on August 19, 2011
MetaTalk post: Could MetaFilter die?
Twenty years is a long time as far as reading the future of the internet and people's free-time tech habits. We still don't have hovercars, but we're all carrying around ridiculously powerful computers with huge piles of storage in our pockets. The web didn't even exist twenty years ago. So, who knows?

In one sense, I feel pretty okay about Metafilter's chances in the same way that I feel pretty good about how email's been doing—if you've got something... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:43 PM on August 19, 2011
There's no real way to answer that kind of hypothetical. I hope it's around in 20 years, but I don't even know what the web will look like, heck MeFi could come into your vision via the backside of your eyelids before you go to bed in 2031.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 7:29 PM on August 19, 2011
MetaTalk post: Spam!
Okiedoke, this is going nowhere and we have to go to bed at some point. mysmallbiz, I'm not sure if you got what you came for but you don't seem to be clarifying what if anything this Metatalk thread is actually going to accomplish in terms of what Metatalk is likely to actually be useful for. Again, feel free to contact us via the contact form if you need to discuss something further, but I'm gonna go ahead and close this up.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:07 PM on August 18, 2011
MetaTalk post: F*** It All
I humbly request that the mods perform a site-wide find-and-replace to swap all instances of "fuck" with "make sweet, sweet love to."

No, this is not a reasonable request, and I will tell you why:

A context-free find-and-replace on a lexeme as syntactically overloaded as "fuck" would lead to all sorts of messy grammatical trainwrecks.

Take your example: if "fuck" is appearing as a constituent of an... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:48 PM on August 17, 2011
Shouldn't we strive for some sort of decorum?

Speaking only for myself, i think the decorum we strive for is the sort where people are generally decent to each other and have good conversations about ideas and whatnot. I know we're not always doing this, but that's the decorum that i strive for. I notice in places that have more bright line rules that govern language, they're not actually conerned with decorum, just the line after which the FCC will... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:00 PM on August 17, 2011
MetaTalk post: Has "worst answer" ever been considered?
Flag as much as you feel comfortable flagging. Once a month is way, way below any possible "those users" level; I can think of like two or three occasions where we've actually had to talk to someone about really over-flagging, and that was instance of like flagging every comment in a thread when just flagging a few things and/or sending us a note would suffice.

If you manage to actually get into Wow, They've Gone Crazy With The Flagging territory, we'll write... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:37 PM on August 9, 2011
By humiliating the bad answerers so they never answer badly again?

You know, I don't even think that would work. I wonder sometimes when I see certain people giving the same sorts of bad answers over and over again, how they miss all the feedback from people such that they don't sort of correct for it somehow. I guess there's a "speaking truth to power" aspect in some of the terrible answers, but I think some people are just not that good... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 12:12 PM on August 9, 2011
Absolutely not, never. There will not be a MetaFilter with both a jessamyn and a "worst answer" option.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:42 AM on August 9, 2011
MetaTalk post: Fabulous Edible Spam Creations
All the Projects stuff goes through us (which is to say Matt, 99% of the time), and, yeah, there's always sort of the question of where that borderline should be.

To some extent, we feel like if we have someone who signs up with the intent to self-promote, then gets as far as getting ready to make a post to the front page, reads the reminder that's a bannin', and marches on over to Projects instead to go the legit route, we've largely succeeded at finding a best-case... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 4:30 PM on August 8, 2011
MetaTalk post: I don't think our vegetarian friends would care for MeatFilter
I remember that Matt was totally resistant to the idea of an Ask subsite for Metafilter for literally years. People kept asking him, he was like '...well, yeah, nah...'

Then somebody, I can't remember who, put up an unofficial one that was more than just a click-here-to-install deal, and like a week later (coincidence or not, I have no idea) Ask was launched.

I dunno what I'm doing here other than reminiscing about the good old days, those... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:47 AM on August 5, 2011
MetaTalk post: Your Honor, I Object!
An accumulation of negative flags shouldn't justify mod action IMO, even though it does all the time. It should only be an indication to the mods that a comment/post may be problematic and then they should assess the comment independent of the # of flags it's received.

Flags by themselves don't cause mod action. Plenty of stuff gets flagged and not deleted, usually just a flag or two, sometimes more than that, if we go and look at the comment/post and... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 6:48 AM on July 29, 2011
The real reason, to which jessamyn has alluded, was that a bunch of MeFites what wasn't graduated from kindergarten hit the flag button and said "Muslim? Muslim?! Waaah! Make the bad answer go away!"

Or hit the flag button and said "that's a weirdly antagonistic way to frame that point". Which is a hell of a lot more plausible, frankly.

Using site feedback as a guide to moderation is an inherently imperfect... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:54 PM on July 28, 2011
I'd imagine the "flagged" button would similarly get abused by idiots.

I'm actually surprised in a general sense how little people flag stuff compared to how much things seem to get stuck in their craw here in MetaTalk. There's actually not as much flagging happening here as you'd think.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:52 PM on July 28, 2011
Moderating this website is a difficult job... you may not always agree... but, at some point you need to accept...
posted to MetaTalk by tomswift at 7:59 PM on July 28, 2011
Here's why I, a fellow community member, would have seen it as a possible derail: I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this, but maybe they fired you because they thought you might be Muslim.

Framing it in a way that accuses fellow community members of being disingenous in their replies. Of saying what they don't really mean, of hiding what they're really thinking, etc. It irritates people to be accused of something like that. That kind of irritation, of being... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Ashley801 at 7:58 PM on July 28, 2011
There's an e-mail address in the question. Unless you're trying to draw attention to yourself, there's no reason for this MeTa.
posted to MetaTalk by Eideteker at 7:44 PM on July 28, 2011
MetaTalk post: Five dollars!
Yes, but it feels just as long.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:29 AM on July 29, 2011
MetaTalk post: Legitimate post v. Wackadoodlery
It's got some chattiness to it, definitely, and picked up a few flags but not many. I didn't talk about it with Jess at all but I'm guessing we both had pretty much the same reaction: a little chatty but the core question wasn't too obscured by that and was potentially pretty answerable.

Part of the thing with chatfilter is that it's necessarily a spectrum, and while we can divvy that up into three buckets (Totally Not Chatfilter, Borderline Chatty, Totally Chatfilter)... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:58 PM on July 28, 2011
MetaTalk post: Metafilter Uber-API. Possible?
We have the infodump and RSS feeds and that's as comfortable as we are with sharing data at the moment. We're very careful about site culture, and we feel like comments belong within the context of threads on MetaFilter. An API like this is for displaying that content somewhere else, and we'd rather not go down the road right now. It's a nice idea in theory, but what do you want to build with it? Maybe we could discuss some concrete examples of applications we would see with an API.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by pb at 10:40 PM on July 28, 2011
MetaTalk post: May this burning pony flesh be pleasing unto the nostrils of the MODS
Why can't there just be a checkbox, next to the comment box on AskMe pages only, that says "Post Anonymously," and if that box is checked it uses the user ID of Anonymous on the SQL insert statement for that comment?

Because, for the most part, we want people to be commenting with their usernames or, in a pinch, using a sock puppet. There's a degree of difference between "allowing anon questioners to add follow-ups" and... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 5:32 PM on July 28, 2011
Anyway, I thought it would be better to make 1 post of 12 ponies instead of 12 posts of 1 pony each.

Well, not really. If you have like two ideas, sticking them in one post is maybe a sensible and workable thing to do. A dozen is nuts.

Picking the one that you really want to ask about, and then picking the other one you really want to ask about and asking it the next week, and so on, is probably the better way to go, in part... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 4:28 PM on July 28, 2011
MetaTalk post: You know that Flickr thing? Don't do that.
Sometimes the self-linking policy just doesn't work

It's one of the few rules we have that we apply consistently and it hasn't changed since the site was teeny. Do not link to your own content in a front page post. The part that is less consistent is whether we ban you for it. As cortex said, we're pretty sure flyingsquirrel wasn't trying to be dodgy but it's important that there not be a "well if the links are really cool, it's okay"... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:26 AM on July 28, 2011
Sometimes the self-linking policy just doesn't work

In what way? The post can or cannot stand without them linking to their own material. If it can, great. If it can't, they shouldn't post it. That's basically the whole deal, and insofar as it restricts what a given person can post about only by tiny, tiny slivers in a huge universe of extant web content it works really well as a way to sidestep weird "yeah but it's neat so it's okay... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:26 AM on July 28, 2011
You're not supposed to link to your own content in the text of your post. This is true for any sort of content including Flickr photo sets. This is so we don't have to eyeball it and figure out if there's some sort of angle you're working in linking to your own content. If the post won't stand on its own without you linking to your own content, don't make the post.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:20 AM on July 28, 2011
Sorry, not trying to be opaque. The thing you should not do with your flickr stream is the same thing you should not do with your anything: link it in a post you're making to the front page of the site. I don't think flyingsquirrel was trying to be sketchy, which is why it was a quick edit and a note rather than a ban for self-linking.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:20 AM on July 28, 2011
MetaTalk post: Post Brutality
I would personally love seeing more police brutality posts on metafilter because honestly I use metafilter as a news source

This is something you need to significantly manage your expectations on, then. There is some news on Metafilter, and it's fine if you like that, but it's expected to be at most part of the mix and, on a site that doesn't have more than two or three dozen posts a day, it's not a practical source or real time news.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 3:23 PM on July 27, 2011
that won't last long, and you will have gutted MetaTalk.

Super. Okay. I'm not sure I even understand why you're bringing it up then. The Big Brother comment was a reference to someone else entirely.

You mods should however realize that posters don't see what mods see, so some guidance might be helpful.

We're all reading the same website. There's no real penalty for haivng your... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:31 PM on July 27, 2011
I think all this whining about 'outrage filter' is emotional, moral, and intellectual cowardice

And I think it's a case of people knowing the proper place and the proper time to get involved in a huge intellectual brawl about a local news story about one of their pet topics. You can not want to see provocative fighty posts about police officers absuing their authority on MetaFilter without it meaning that you're turning a blind eye to the larger... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 1:55 PM on July 27, 2011
And to reiterate a framing of this that is a big part of how we look at it, "why are so many posts about x deleted" is a question very necessarily secondary to "why are there so many posts about x made". We have deleted many posts about police brutality/abuse/tasing in large part because there have been even more made; it is not hard to find them in the archives, they do not seem to stop coming.

The idea that Metafilter needs even as many as have... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:07 PM on July 27, 2011
3) they aren't particularly productive as posts

This means that the threads turn into shouting matches where people fgight with each other because they are upset and angry at what happened or who people are chosing to pin fault or responsibility on. They tend to tear the community apart more than bring the community together. Since one of this community's goals is to stay in existence, this is counter-productive. More to the point, they generate a... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 1:36 PM on July 27, 2011
MetaTalk post: ThereIsHelp comes to profile pages, please help us tweak a feature
"Tabled for the time being" is what I said which is accurate. I think I was overestimating my own ability to wrassle with objections to this idea and as I said, it didn't have the support I had thought it did. I'll think on it. We'll talk later.

I talk a little when I talk about technology about the idea of technostress, the idea that you have to learn some sort of technology for work or whatever and you feel pressured to learn something that you think is... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 1:24 PM on July 26, 2011
Also, was there a proposal to consider doing this in MeTa before or was this just born from a general feeling in the community?

People were imagining some variant of this idea towards the end of the Bill Zeller thread and many MeFites have been emailing me privately asking about it. I've been talking to the mod team about it for months and reaching out to site members who seemed to have some sort of a stake in this to have some help crafting a... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:52 AM on July 26, 2011
It makes me thoroughly uncomfortable to have a scheme which is Officially Sanctioned but which does not have

We should make it more clear that this is a way to find someone to talk to and not a way to actually "get help" which is exactly the sort of small-but-important point that's really important here. We can clarify that in the FAQ and elsewhere. While the ThereIsHelp page on the wiki is actually supposed to help people find trained... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:25 AM on July 25, 2011
MetaTalk post: Normal feedback?
Basically, it is like putting a quarter into one of those machines that dispenses clear plastic bubbles with things like temporary tattoos or little tiny toys inside, except that some of the bubbles contain bees.

Some machines have more bees than others, and how violently you crank the handle after you put your quarter in will affect how roused the bees are. But you can never be sure that there aren't any bees, nor can you turn the handle gently... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 9:05 PM on July 25, 2011
MetaTalk post: One link is not a FPP.
I saw the post as uncharacteristically good content from a store selling products they seem quite knowledgeable about.

Sure it's sex toys, but the depth of knowledge in the lube article is the kind of expert advice you see in very few places. It reminded me of those times you meet a true craftsman doing something they love, and they know the decades of history they've been in business and can bring you up to speed when you ask what the best options/products are.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 5:18 PM on July 25, 2011
MetaTalk post: Let my people quote!
There is a grilled cheese bus in Portland, where you can go and get a grilled cheese and sit on a school bus and eat it apparently. I have never been by it when I was hungry for grilled cheese, but the premise makes me happy.

I for one am really sick of typing out markup for the last 20 years and think it's pointlessly unwelcoming to younger users or those who have no technical background.

We do, notably, provide buttons for... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 5:10 PM on July 25, 2011
Well, here's what I said last year:

I think I'm on record as being a full-on curmudgeon about this: I like that we don't have an automated quote-reply system. Folks approach the problem in a variety of ways, serving their preferences and their apprehension of the context, and I think the overall mix of approaches is part of the character and charm of the way conversations unfold on the site.

That there are scripts and such available for folks who... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 4:43 PM on July 25, 2011
MetaTalk post: Norwegian attacks thread
I will say once that I do not understand why the mods allowed the off-color dick jokes or the very obvious derails.

Some of it has to do with the difference between MeFi and MeTa. Some of it has to do with the speed of that thread and the fact that other people were requoting stuff. Some of it has to do with the fact that this is MeTa and different things are expected and allowed. We deleted some comments and left a note, but there is a sense where... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 6:11 AM on July 23, 2011
I stand by that sociopath statement now more than ever.

With respect, calling people sociopaths is really not helping here. I get that people's nerves are raw and that this is a terrible tragedy that a lot of people have a hard time sort of getting their head around or dealing with in an online-website sort of situation. But even if people do things you personally find fairly abhorrent, this is the place where we talk about that stuff and hopefully... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:57 PM on July 22, 2011
So, there's a few things here that apply to a larger context than just that thread, to the extent that they've come up on mefi and in metatalk before and plenty of other places:

1. Some people are really, really bothered by jokey responses to scary or tragic shit going down that directly affects them.
2. Some people are really bothered by it even for scary/tragic shit that only fairly indirectly affects them.
3. Some people cope with scary or... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 3:27 PM on July 22, 2011
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