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MetaTalk post: No posts referencing Kickstarter projects?
Wait, so it's okay to post a Kickstarter project as long as it's run by a Mefite?

No, it's not. In the past there had been a few and they were okay but we basically had to make the judgment call "this is okay because it's awesome" but that's not a place we're totally comfortable being and we talked about htis in the adrianhon MeTa threa. Now the general rule of thumb is "don't ask for money or signatures on MeFi." This is not to... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:53 PM on May 14, 2011
First, if there is such a policy, shouldn't it be listed somewhere? Second, does this apply to all organizations that are soliciting money for good works, and if so, why, if not, why just Kickstarter?

There is a general basic guideline that says don't link to "sign my petition" or "help Karen raise money for her operation" posts. This one was different. We talked about it on the mod list and all agreed that it's sort of important... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 9:50 AM on May 14, 2011
MetaTalk post: I hear something saying, Oooh! Ahhhh!
But I can say that, beyond that, part of it for me has just getting used to the dynamic and finding better ways to cope mentally with that stuff.

cortex helps me with this. I can sometimes be like your long suffering "you never write ... you never call" mod sometimes. It's been really helpful for me to have a few other things to do outside of Mod Town including teaching people how to use iTunes [that's where I was tonight, we learned to... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 6:20 PM on May 10, 2011
So I couldn't help but wonder if modding is this Sisyphean task where you're never, ever, done

Compared to a task-oriented job, it's kind of a thing that just keeps going, yeah. Sisyphean feels a little dark for most days—the typical workday really is pretty calm, it doesn't tend to be a THE MAIL NEVER STOPS feeling—but in the sense that there's no firm punchclock or a way to know for sure that things will be quiet, definitely it's a... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 3:25 PM on May 10, 2011
MetaTalk post: Why can't the community guidelines include "not being a pedantic prick?"
That's struggle, pain, anxiety and difficulty. Grad school can be tough, but get some fucking perspective, dude, or drop the hell out.

I've mentioned this before, but one of the things that has helped me not bitch people out here on MetaFilter--and this is me, coming from my personal perspective that not bitching people out is a value that I aspire to--is to keep in mind that everyone's hardest struggle is their hardest struggle, for a multitude of... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:56 AM on May 10, 2011
MetaTalk post: HBO Loves Mefi
We can dig and figure out how many people have actually gone all the way through the signup process...

Just ran a quick query and at this moment we have 52,709 completed accounts.
posted to MetaTalk by pb at 8:52 PM on May 8, 2011
MetaTalk post: What the beese?
Aside from the hyperbole - it reads (to me, at least) as though the main 'problem' was that he had people over a barrel/in a corner, they've then complained to the mods and he's been banned.

No, this is actually wacky bullshit. We get lots of complaints about lots of people, it doesn't get you banned. There's a good chance it correlates with you being up to something that has us talking to you, but generally speaking that takes a lot of work before... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 9:19 AM on May 3, 2011
Quick question: is it technically possible to ban someone from subsites and not all of Metafilter?

Nope, and not a road we want to go down. If your behavior on one part of the site is a problem and elsewhere its fine, you need to be able to get your head together enough to keep yourself off the part of the site where your behavior sucks if that's the only way you can manage it.

I've always wondered what this kind of... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 9:04 AM on May 3, 2011
Blimey. Is a lot of mod time is spent on this sort of behind-the-scenes attempt to get a problem user on the straight and narrow, or is it a rare thing?

Power curve distribution: a few people take a lot of work, a bigger group take a smaller amount of work, most people take little to no work. Just like most things here.

I would say that based on my experiences talking about this stuff with both third parties and the folks... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:49 AM on May 3, 2011
It seems to me that there are a number of commenters of whom this is true, none of whom has been banned except for Joe. Isn't this exactly what Ironmouth does in every vaguely political or newsy thread?

We talk to a lot of folks about all kinds of stuff; you sort of have to trust us that much of what we do is try to find ways to make it work with people whose behavior isn't always great. Certainly Joe Beese is not by far the only person we've had to... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:35 AM on May 3, 2011
Yeah, people are welcome to email us if they need more information and this is something we've already told lots of people privately. I don't feel comfortable having a "whatever happened to X" discussion here. Brand New Day is still in effect, he can come back with a new username and if the community doesn't spot him being That Guy, then we'd love to see him back.

Isn't this exactly what Ironmouth does in every vaguely political or newsy thread?... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:34 AM on May 3, 2011
Joe Beese was one of the few community members who was both helpful and friendly here and also totally unable to reign in the more problematic aspects of his behavior here. After working with him extensively over a lot of last year, he was given a few weeks off over the holidays as sort of a "last chance" to get his act together. We'd really prefer if people could sort of dial back their own problematic behavior but ultimately he was a commenter who literally could not keep any MeFi... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:29 AM on May 3, 2011
We banned him back in mid March after just seven too many "one more chance" discussions. We had given him some time off around the end of last year when shit was winding up yet again and been very clear about him needing to figure his stuff out if he was serious about staying; when he came back in around the start of this year he did okay-ish with that for a while but then the specific stupid fights and axe-grinding started up again and we had to call it.

It... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:28 AM on May 3, 2011
MetaTalk post: sensory deprivation
I had this job once. I took tickets for various events. Often once the initial tickets were taken you had nothing to do until the people left. At best you got an occasional glimpse of a hand stamp or something. During the Catholic basketball tournaments the days were often at least 12 hours. No reading, no music, just you and a little ticket box all day.

Or when I was in the military: Foxhole dug and a heat index black or red or whatever they called it. You and and... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cjorgensen at 4:34 PM on May 1, 2011
MetaTalk post: ? is a Latin phrase traditionally attributed to the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8), which is literally translated as "Who will
it's sad how little Matt interacts publicly compared to the old days

This is one of those weird things about moderation as well. While I miss mathowie being around more -- because I find him reasonable as well as funny as well as nearly-universally respected and he's my friend-- there's sort of two ways to go with this sort of thing.

1. Stick around and only mod the one site you created for now and forever, even as you head... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 9:07 AM on May 1, 2011
This thread is an embarrassment to the community. Seriously, what the fuck?
posted to MetaTalk by cj_ at 6:47 AM on May 1, 2011
Holy crap, she deleted an askme from Mutant?! He is one of the most respected members of this site.

You know, one of the great reliefs (to me) when jessamyn and cortex joined the mod team was that the tolerance for bullshit from the "old guard" disappeared. Jess was refreshingly disinterested in people lulzing it up in serious question on ask or engaging in the less productive and more abusive forms of trolling and getting away with,... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by rodgerd at 2:42 AM on May 1, 2011
I read it all, too. Kind of agreed that r_n was over modding a bit, but ortho came on so strong and fighty that I signed up for the restless_nomad fan-for-life club just to distance myself from that guy. Almost drove me to use profanity in response. I was this close.
posted to MetaTalk by Pater Aletheias at 2:12 AM on May 1, 2011
So it would have been welcome if the new mod had a more demonstrable engagement with all parts of the site.

Which is funny to me, in a formal irony way (not a Ha Ha I Laugh At Your Opinions way) because the loudest objections to my having joined the team were that I was too engaged and too much of a highly visible figure at the time and how could I possibly be a fair or objective moderator when everybody knew who I was and I'd just post a funny song... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 11:45 PM on April 30, 2011
I feel that this could have been productive; disagreements with mods in a civil, honest and concise manner, in a MeTa thread for public viewing and comment, (hopefully) leading to an informative critique. The over-the-top hyperbole, offended huffiness, and aggressive misinterpretation poisoned that well. I was irritated by the bullshit rank-pulling too; who's been here how long, 'power users,' who paid $5 and who didn't, blah blah blah.
posted to MetaTalk by Existential Dread at 10:51 PM on April 30, 2011
You have mods that are put in place by some unknown process, without any kind of nomination, vote or restraint - there are many reasonable and capable people on mefi that could do an equally good job - why can't people put them forward ?


Yooooou know, I was sort of thinking about this earlier, but really, really trying not to say it. It was a general vibe I got in this thread and the one welcoming restless_nomad, a sort of, "but she's... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:57 PM on April 30, 2011
I'm not sure what's really being accomplished in this thread

Well, a whole lot more people are now totally aware I'm a mod!

(Good night, all.)
posted to MetaTalk by restless_nomad at 9:52 PM on April 30, 2011
The subtext is that someone who deletes a users comments and asks them not to participate further in the thread, somehow turns into the 'bullied' - thats the whole dynamic right there.

That "somehow" is a bit disingenuous. By most reasonable definitions, the repeated and aggressive accusations of incompetence and/or malice that are being made in regards to restless_nomad -- even after apologies (which are then deconstructed for not being... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by scody at 8:05 PM on April 30, 2011
MetaTalk post: Wait a week and repose?
> It's not against the rules or anything, but it definitely has the feel of kind of tacky free riding.

Speak for yourself. I've never understood this attitude; I think it's perfectly fine if people want to ask a lot more than they answer. In fact, I wish more people would act that way rather than rushing to add "answers" (consisting mainly of wild surmises and just plain wrong information) to every question they see.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 4:50 PM on April 30, 2011
MetaTalk post: ? is a Latin phrase traditionally attributed to the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8), which is literally translated as "Who will
The idea of entitlement and ownership really doesn't sit well with me. I accept that the community benefits and thrives when users are engaged and invested. I appreciate the high quality of engagement of some users, and the investment of others sometimes impresses me favorably and sometimes not so favorably. I hope that where people are saying "entitled" and "ownership", they mean "invested" and "engaged". I like to think that no particular user has... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by crush-onastick at 5:46 PM on April 30, 2011
I continue to feel that this one is as well.

Usually what happens is someone will email or IM us and ask what happened. We'll explain and, if I'm around and have some free time, will work with them to rewrite it. So questions that might have been too chatty benefit from having a concrete "problem to be solved" added or questions without crucial information from the OP get that information added and they're resurrected.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 5:18 PM on April 30, 2011
> Ortho is perfectly at liberty to question modding decisions on Mefi

Ortho is perfectly at liberty to do whatever the fuck he wants, and then if people don't like it he has to suck it up, just like the people he sticks his pitchfork into have to suck it up, especially if they're mods and aren't allowed the luxury of telling him where to go.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 4:47 PM on April 30, 2011
That's funny, I can't recall a single instance. To paraphrase somebody or other, an example or it didn't happen.

You know, it's not your job to deal with those instances, so it's not particularly surprising that you wouldn't remember them. It is my job, I certainly am not fabricating them, and I am not feeling like hunting down a bunch of old examples just to prove that I'm not suddenly lying for no apparent reason.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 4:11 PM on April 30, 2011
Alright then, when is the last time a member was able to have a question restored by complaining about the deletion in MetaTalk?

It has happened now and then. It happens a bit more often but still very much only occasionally via email without any metatalk involved in the first place, which is generally a far better way to handle it in any case.

If we've simultaneously got people beefing about how Mutant is being singled out... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 3:49 PM on April 30, 2011
So here's the thing: I'm a long-time Metafilter member (and a lurker for a lot longer than that) but I'm also a long-time professional moderator. Both of those things influence my instincts regarding moderation decisions. I know that because of my professional history, I'm inclined to moderate more heavily than is standard here. I'm taking that into account with every decision I make, but it's impossible to second-guess everything, otherwise I'd never be able to get anything done.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by restless_nomad at 3:39 PM on April 30, 2011
I thought it was common sense that one should err on the side of caution when starting out in any new job.

There's erring on the side of caution and then there's paralysis in the face of uncertainty. The former is probably good, the latter is not workable, and the only way to avoid stepping on toes is the latter. "I will continue to do things that annoy someone" is basic pragmatic awareness of the nature of the situation; believing... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 3:33 PM on April 30, 2011
You ever been the moderator of a community you care about? It's a huge leap, and it's very difficult. You have to do the moderating, otherwise things catch on fire, and people get hurt. Every single decision (okay, maybe I wasn't such an awesome moderator) gets questioned. People tell you what your motivation is, your intent, and repercussions of your supposedly careless moderation (no matter how light handed you try to be). They threaten to leave, demand changes, claim prejudice. They wait... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by b33j at 3:28 PM on April 30, 2011
If they "moderate" it to the point where 90% of the users hate the way the site is now then they did a shitty job at their job.

If we get to the point where 10% of the users hate the place, heck 5%, we're probably doing something wrong. And honestly, there are many channels of communication about mod stuff including talking to us, talking to Matt, using the contact form, and opening a MeTa thread. They're all fine.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:27 PM on April 30, 2011
But the idea that she acknowledged that she probably overreacted, but not only wouldn't then correct her overreaction but just told us to expect months more of overreaction did -- does -- anger me.

Make an effort to get over it, then, because her acknowledging that there's a learning curve to a new job and that she's going to spend some time navigating that and hence inevitably ruffling more feathers along the way is about the most sane and... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 2:21 PM on April 30, 2011
Yeah. Looking at it again, it's clear that although it seems perfectly mild and harmless to me, that's because I can see the comment it's about. Without that, the context is lost and it sounds a lot more prescriptive than was intended. Definitely something I need to keep in mind in the future.
posted to MetaTalk by restless_nomad at 11:48 AM on April 30, 2011
It's totally possible that it was an overreaction. That's probably going to be my failure mode for the first couple of months. Gotta say, though, looking at the thread this morning - it's a good thread. Interesting, nuanced, not fighty at all. Is that where it would have gone had that comment not been removed? Dunno. But I don't think it "shut down discussion" at all.
posted to MetaTalk by restless_nomad at 11:29 AM on April 30, 2011
I'm surprised at the kind of threadgineering you are attempting, restless_nomad. Why intervene in this topic and not every other topic where people make some kind of kneejerk generalization?

Because this one happened on my shift and got flagged?
posted to MetaTalk by restless_nomad at 11:22 AM on April 30, 2011
first, it wasn't clear she was speaking as mod -- she spoke up in the thread, not via email, and I took it as her personal opinion, and I assume lupus did too.

Yup, I think we understand where the confusion is coming from, but at some level if someone is dropping into a thread using mod style (as she did in her first comment, probably should have done in her second comment, okay.) and making mod-like pronouncements, I respect that someone might not... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:03 AM on April 30, 2011
Yay! My first MeTa!

So, there is some confusion here with the sequence of events. I removed one post by lupus_yonderboy and left the mod note. Lupus_yonderboy posted a less one-liner expansion of the deleted comment, and I clarified my mod note (although not using the mod style, which was probably overly confusing.) He responded again to discuss the moderation, which I deleted and took it to memail instead.

In that conversation I said... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by restless_nomad at 10:51 AM on April 30, 2011
it's not at all clear where to draw the line between restless_nomad's personal opinions and his official pronouncements as moderator.

First of all restless_nomad is female which is clear from her profile page. Secondly we'll often drop someone a note on the back end to let people know "Hey this thread seems to be becoming all about you, maybe you could ease back some for a while?" which is, I assume, what was happening. We don't have much... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:45 AM on April 30, 2011
MetaTalk post: Wait a week and repose?
I thought the general rule was one question to an AskMe, and that sub-questions were only grudgingly tolerated if they were pretty clearly of the "What's the best thing to make for dinner? Without tomatoes, I mean, because I really don't like tomatoes." variety.

That's closer to my usual thinking, yeah, though with some flexibility thrown in. Mutant, I would have preferred you tighten this one way up, too; that's a lot of Oh And Another... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 2:30 PM on April 30, 2011
I appreciate that Mutant was really thorough in outlining all the questions he has about PhD stuff but I do feel like while all the questions are on the same topic, asking somewhere between eight and fifteen questions in one AskMe is something that falls into an "often delete" category for any of us. There's no hard and fast limit.

I undeleted this one because it's easier to move forward with "hey okay bit of a misunderstanding" than figuring out... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 1:54 PM on April 30, 2011
MetaTalk post: What is mefi etiquette, anyway?
Showing up in a thread that is asking about the psychological background of empathy for animals vs humans with anecdotal stories of animal abuse is sort of straddling the line between a non-answer and a general derail. I'm explaining that as a way to let you know how it wound up on our radar in the first place, and why people may have flagged it. I looked at it, went away for a bit, came back and it still seemed, after a few more people had answered, that it was sort of standing out there as... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 12:12 PM on April 29, 2011
We try to keep askme pretty much on-topic; one of the implications of that is that a personal anecdote related somehow to the topic of the question isn't always really an answer to the question, and that was the thing here. Not that your anecdote isn't in the neighborhood of the subject of empathic responses to animals, but that they seem to be more asking about the psychological theory behind that, not for stories about said reactions.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 12:05 PM on April 29, 2011
MetaTalk post: Should offensive language be allowed through the keepers?
I thought yours was the land where folk didn't say hell or damn in polite company!

You may be confusing us with Canada?
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 5:25 PM on April 22, 2011
MetaTalk post: Kids Gloves On
In fact, I suspect it unlikely they would be particularly happy with me if I asked now.

I think what we'd like is a little more before-posting "How do I think this is going to go on MeFi?" consideration. And no, we won't close that thread now.

I know you must be thinking about this. At the same time this is becoming something that is somewhat familiar: touchy topic post, badly going thread, MeTa thread, regretted... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:35 PM on April 21, 2011
(Can I ask as an aside what cred is needed to get an FPP deleted? I've asked to have a couple go away that I made that no one seemed to like and never heard a response. Yet Z implies he could ask to have this deleted and it would be.

I don't really care, I guess...if the standard is "you made it, it's not going away" that's fine, or "you made it, you can have it deleted" that's fine too. But "you made it, it stays; this other person made
... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:13 PM on April 21, 2011
I sympathize, but honestly, I don't see how a thread on that topic was going to go any other way than exactly how it did go, no matter how you wrote it.

Yeah, this is pretty much the feeling I had as well. It's a hell of a conversational payload, basically a high-capacity gawk train no matter what, and I think it sucks that a couple people were being sort of buttheaded in there but I'm having trouble imagining something more likely... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 5:48 PM on April 21, 2011
Any time you try to get all of MetaFilter to do anything, you will fail. while I appreciate the "hey let's not be total assholes" suggestions here [and agree that thread is getting really sort of ugly which I can attribute to one or two comments] it might be worth asking what the thread was FOR. That is, what was a good set of talking points about that topic that wasn't a co-hating of someone? Or whether the co-hating was likely to be possibly avoided giving the strong feelings evoked... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 5:37 PM on April 21, 2011
MeFi post: Kiki Kannibal
I do have a suggestion, but I don't know how reasonable it is. My suggestion is that we have to decide who the web belongs to -- us, or the bullies. When we see bullying, we need to flag it, and report it to the web pages' editors, or moderators, or the hosting company. We need to collectively push for clearly stated policies regarding abusive behavior online from the places that host comments section. And we have to keep doing this, every time we see it, until the bullies end up in whatever... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Astro Zombie at 1:02 PM on April 21, 2011
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