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MetaTalk post: Why is my cat doing $weirdthing?
And to address the specific idea bullet points, because I get where you're coming from on these but they aren't things we're going to make changes on:

-Upping the time limit between posts from one to two weeks

We tried this once upon a time. It caused only a small fractional reduction in the overall pace of questions while stressing a whole lot of people out. It turns out that most folks don't ask that often in the first... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 5:02 PM on March 26, 2012
I don't really think this is happening, but if it was, the next logical step wouldn't be to slow down questions, but instead to change the front page to be more to your liking. We have the My Ask feature to try and show you the questions you would be interested in, but we could do more with it.

But again, that's only if we identified this over asking as a real issue, which so far I haven't seen it be a real problem.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 4:56 PM on March 26, 2012
As the site has grown in popularity and more people join just to ask questions, the ratio between people who are knowlegeable and people who ask questions has fallen.

I'm not sure this follows, on a couple of points:

- We've had steady growth in total users over time but not remotely explosive growth, with the total number of minimally active users in any given month being on par with what it was several years ago. So in terms... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 4:51 PM on March 26, 2012
MetaTalk post: Topical Topics
For example, I believe the first post about Trayvon Martin was taken down but the following one wasn't. My best guess is it has to do with how "big" the story is, considering within that lapse of time it became a story with more national focus.

That's definitely part of the calculus, yeah. Mefi, like you noted and other mods have said in this thread already, is not a news site, but even more than that it's not a tragedy-news site and when the Trayvon... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:19 AM on March 26, 2012
But in the end, its not about policy, its about what fits the decision that is first made by the mod who feels strongest about the thread/situation in question. Yeah. Policy is "whatever mods want" rather than "here are guidelines the community knows about".

This is one perspective. We have a lot of guidelines that the community does in fact know about, but very few hard and fast rules. This works for most people but does not work... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 4:41 AM on March 26, 2012
I'm the only moderator on at the moment, since it's between 3 am - 6 am for the others, so they'll weigh in as they come online, but for big news stories, the danger is that all the offshoot articles, news updates, opinion pieces and developing information can result in a lot of different posts with the conversation repeating and scattered across a lot of different threads, so new posts on a current topic when there's already a post on it needs to be distinct enough on its own that it's a... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by taz at 3:27 AM on March 26, 2012
You can ask mods questions, you know. They're people, not a mindless wall of bureaucracy.
posted to MetaTalk by le morte de bea arthur at 2:58 AM on March 26, 2012
MetaTalk post: Trying to find a question on askmefi.
Hey, this is way too little info to help, and I'm not crazy about a Metatalk post filled with links to sensitive breakup questions when the original posters really had no suspicion or intention of being featured on / linked from Metatalk.

shipsthatburn, if you can contact me with any more info (even a rough time period would help), I'll try to find it for you, but I'm going to go ahead and close this up.
posted to MetaTalk by taz at 9:14 PM on March 24, 2012
MetaTalk post: what's the deal?
Here's the thing about outragefilter: is it going be a thread full of angry people turning on each other and pecking each other to death about minor disagreements and twisting another user's words to represent the position they really want to attack? This happens all the time. Every "Let's Everyone Get Good and Angry!" thread turns into a bloody cannibalfest. If people could act reasonably, there wouldn't really be an issue about deletions of this kind of post, because there would be... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by taz at 10:02 AM on March 23, 2012
Yeah, neither of us really liked that twitter thing, it was just less obviously a Thing on the face of it. I feel like retreading twitter drama is not really a great idea for a post in general, as much as I can sort of understand the appeal of something like storify used as a way to create more of a coherent narrative than "go read these twitters streams in order".
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:45 AM on March 23, 2012
I would have axed them both.

To be honest, I probably would have also. The second one built up flags more slowly and didn't have as many lulzy "I'm going to lob this firebomb in here" early comments but upon reflection that thread turned into what we were hoping to avoid by axing the castration thread. "A bunch of people got angry on the internet" rarely makes for good MeFi threads, but sometimes what's going on is so unavoidably... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:42 AM on March 23, 2012
Have we ever discussed trigger warnings?

Users can add trigger warnings if they want to and some do. Most don't, and from a mod perspective we're not going to start adding them (unless you ask that one be added to your post). We won't add them to others' posts which is slightly differently from how we deal with NSFW indicators. Unless we think there is something significantly disturbing behind a disguised-sort of link, we stay out of this sort of... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:56 PM on March 22, 2012
The comments were not good. We axed a few of them and were still managing flags on the "Well what do you expect with the Catholic Church/religion?" aspect of it. We were on the fence about it watching the flags for a bit but decided that babysitting an "open season on Catholics/religion" thread wasn't what we wanted to do tonight, or stick taz with overnight.

I honestly don't know if there's a way to make a post about the forcible castration of kids... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 6:11 PM on March 22, 2012
MetaTalk post: What is good deleted post etiquette?
What is the function difference between the original and the repost, jessmyn?

"Her baby girl, barely old enough to crawl, had been left outdoors to die." sets a post off to basically be a HOW DARE THEY situation. I get that there are terrible things happening everyplace. We know from experience that taking quotes that point to some of the worst stuff happening [along with pointed titles] tends to predispose users to... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 1:28 PM on March 19, 2012
MeFi post: if I can do it, so can you!
"If I can do it, so can you!"

There are a lot of people who 'could've done it' but didn't, just because they are better people than that. I think of the founder of MetaFilter, Matt Haughey, as one of those people. I think he's smart enough that he could've made MeFi as big and lucrative as HuffPo or Twitter or even Facebook, but it wouldn't be MetaFilter.
posted to MetaFilter by oneswellfoop at 11:46 AM on March 6, 2012
MetaTalk post: The MeFi Register, Poster and Paper
I can't tell if the comments about the blurring of usernames are in jest or serious, but I'm going to address them anyway. I think y'all may be teasing me and I'm about to go get all heavy...

There are quite a few reasons I did/do that, but in this case the main one was that I simply pulled the comments I wanted from my ridiculously overcategorized MeFi screenshot library. I went into the "anonymized comments ƒ" and placed what I thought were representative... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by iamkimiam at 10:18 AM on March 18, 2012
MetaTalk post: Mike Daisey's truthy issues
Funny story: we didn't notice the first post originally. I stand by the characterization of the deletion and agree that the existing post that we totally missed isn't really any better, but once we got done slipping on banana peels we decided to just let the already-very-busy-thread stand instead getting into serious whackamole territory.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:22 PM on March 16, 2012
MetaTalk post: It's a Favorites-Off
I've said it before but I'd like to be explicit: there are a large number of people who find the competition aspect of favorite-gathering on MetaFilter to be especially unsavory. So while I understand that people do it and yeah mathowie maybe should have called them bookmarks way back when, making a big explicit deal out of favorite-grubbing is something that is not going to be considered a good thing by everyone.

So, hey, people have to find their little gamification... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:20 PM on March 15, 2012
Ask MeFi post: Selling an iPad on eBay: Foolish or fine?
I used to be a big eBay fan, both as buyer and seller. And then I took a bunch of time off, just because life got in the way. Then last month I sold and item and got into a really sketchy situation with the buyer, who eventually returned it. I re-listed the item and got into a sketchy situation with the second buyer. And it just really struck me for the first time how little protection you have on eBay. Their customer service is non-existent, their policies and penalties are weak at best,... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by BlahLaLa at 10:55 AM on March 14, 2012 marked best answer
MetaTalk post: New directive: we don't do "tl;dr" here anymore.
I like Meatbomb. I like tl;dr. I am awake and conflicted.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:20 AM on March 14, 2012
MetaTalk post: Who me?
It'd be neat to find a way to bring back some more formatting flexibility to the user pages, yeah. Like jacalata notes, this is something we did do at one point; the big problem is with finding a way to simultaneously let people go nuts with their custom stylization while also absolutely preventing userpages from becoming potential sources of malicious cross-site scripting or other exploits. Details of that are a bit beyond my own experience, but the short version is that the reason there's... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 4:27 AM on March 12, 2012
MetaTalk post: Favorite categorization revisited
Oh yeah, I forgot about the private tags part. That would greatly minimize any sort of griefing on the site through the feature. I'll keep in the maybe pile.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 3:32 PM on March 10, 2012
Only one way to find out, just saying...

This is no longer a site where we can just toss something at the wall and see if it sticks. So while I appreciate that other people may be antsy for something like this, we have to spend some time actively chewing it over and thinking about the impacts that it might have on the site before we just turn something like this on and see what happens. Which, like mathowie said, is something that we're interested in... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 3:02 PM on March 10, 2012
Yeah, we were talking about this internally a short while ago. We even had a very alpha version of tagging of your own favorites, which I would greatly prefer over any sort of categories (they would work the same way as delicious, let you choose arbitrary tags on favorites optionally and show you your most frequently used tags by auto-completion).

It's one of those things like the edit window where they are technically possible and we have a rudimentary version running... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:57 AM on March 10, 2012
MetaTalk post: Was it because I said "gramps"?
Yes. "Kid shot to death" threads with added "This guy is also acting like a jerk" aspect just are setups to get a lot of people pissed off without a lot of actually talk about. Yes it sucks that this happened. Yes we get that it's upsetting. But there's not a lot of there there storywise it's just a really crappy thing that happened, in a small gated community in the US.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 3:48 PM on March 9, 2012
We regularly delete stuff we feel falls under "outragefilter" about some horrible thing happening somewhere. It leads to a lot of hot threads where everyone is pretty pissed, but there's almost never much we can do about it and it leads to fights, account closings, etc.

This was a horrible thing, but a huffington post article just a few paragraphs long was short on details. I think this could be a post for mefi if there was more background and it was more like... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 3:46 PM on March 9, 2012
MetaTalk post: Diversity on Mefi
I'm more than willing but nobody will teach me how not to be a sexist!

I will! We can start our email correspondence course immediately. You know how to find me.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 9:28 PM on March 6, 2012
One of the things we've tried to do on Team Mod besides trying to tamp down some of the more aggressive hostility here is to work towards diversity on our moderating team. While we can do better on having more international representation, for a small team we're doing pretty good in terms of age, gender, regional, religious and LGBT-ness. We did some active work on the boyzoneness and the casual racist and sexist comments that sort of plague the larger Internet. We could certainly do better but... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:05 AM on March 6, 2012
I think one of our biggest barriers to entry (beyond charging $5, which the internet has clearly stated as ludicrous given all the other freely open communities) is the skew towards technical knowledge just by having a site be a wall of text. It's time-consuming, sometimes intimidating, and definitely filters out the casual commenter because it's just so much work to read and follow things here. That said, most everyone I meet simply reads the front page of MetaFilter or Ask MetaFilter once or... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 3:12 PM on March 6, 2012
MetaTalk post: Pony Request: IRL notifications
Meetups are super great and chill and friendly.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 3:17 PM on March 4, 2012
MetaTalk post: Killer tools for a killer post?
I tend to skip over the huge posts with lots of links, and don’t really see the point. If someone makes a great, interesting post and I want to know more I can search the internet for myself. I find the megaposts to be unfocused, and I can’t tell what the important parts are. I don’t look to this site to fully educate me, it’s really good at pointing out things I didn’t know about.
posted to MetaTalk by bongo_x at 10:20 AM on March 4, 2012
MetaTalk post: The pony is too cute.
The relationship options are based on a web standard called XFN. They're not spectacular—and we have a history of having fun with those definitions—but we're not likely to go outside of that standard anytime soon. Any option that involves insulting people or generally spreading angst is not likely to go anywhere.
posted to MetaTalk by pb at 10:58 PM on March 2, 2012
Sorry that's not something we'll be doing, there's enough bad juju as it is without creating a whole new layer of drama because users need a way to dislike each other in another dimension. You can use greasemonkey for this if you'd like to. And just to make sure you know: we can tell who you are talking about just by going to your profile page.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:58 PM on March 2, 2012
MetaTalk post: Mefi Medals
Badges usually reward good behavior, but they have lots of unintended consequences. It's not likely that we'd ever do something with this, mostly because it's so hard to quantify the best behavior ("you just earned a badge for being really decent in how you responded to that flamebait!").
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 10:02 AM on February 28, 2012
Love the idea, but in practice anything that would create a competitive atmosphere or any sort of arbitrary "You get something and someone else doesn't" indicator would be problematic here. I totally hear you that it would be fun and I wouldn't mind seeing something like this at some sort of external-to-the-site level, but as something we'd implement, I think it's unlikely.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:01 AM on February 28, 2012
MetaTalk post: Fly your favorite flag
Okay, so this is actually a different request than the post. Now you are asking that "fantastic comment" flags be made public. This is something that Matt can consider, but probably already has... a lot. There are many, many, many, many Metatalk posts about how favorites themselves affect the site dynamic, and what you are talking about is basically another element that would cause a lot of concern for many users here.

If Fantastic Comments were used this fashion, then... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by taz at 10:56 PM on February 27, 2012
My innate need to explain things is doing battle with my inability to figure out what exactly isn't clear about the way this works.

Let me have a bash.

Favorites (which different people use for different purposes, including but not limited to onsite bookmarking, showing support or agreement, or rewarding other users for clever or amusing contributions) are yours to do with as you like.

Flags are directed toward the... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:54 PM on February 27, 2012
If I remember my MetaFilter history, flagging was added before favorites. So while it has always primarily been used to point out trouble spots to the site admins, it was also used to point out something fantastic so it could be considered for inclusion in the sideblog. Once favorites were added it sort of took on that role of pointing out things the community found interesting on the Popular page.

Admins see the fantastic post and comment flags in a separate space from... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by pb at 10:25 PM on February 27, 2012
That would be similar to Facebook's "Like" button and there is a very strong correlation between Metafilter being very much unlike Facebook and Metafilter being a good thing.
posted to MetaTalk by Saydur at 9:53 PM on February 27, 2012
MeFi post: Make Your Thing
I'm kind of surprised at some of the responses here myself, we're all pretty creative people and do and like creative stuff, I figured after I read this early this morning off Twitter I'd see people patting Jesse on the back for a job well done.

Anyway, here's what I had going against me:

- I spent 7 years in college to be a soil chemist after going in to college to save the earth in the early 90s (it was a popular thing to do). I loved it and it... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by mathowie at 8:10 PM on February 27, 2012
MetaTalk post: Reminder to FIAMO, people.
Now that I think about it I can't really think of an effective way to consistently diffuse the impression that shitting in a doomed or borderline thread was effective at nuking it either.

Yeah, that's the tricky bit. We will sometimes explicitly address some crappy in-thread behavior with an admin-style note (especially if we've needed to delete some stuff) or with just a normal comment, regardless of whatever else happens to the thread it was in, but... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 9:47 PM on February 26, 2012
It would cut down on the mods having to try to guess why people are flagging.

Flagging basically is designed to direct our attention to something either quickly or "when you have time" and the types of flags are directed both towards this and letting people who are newer understand some of the reasons you might flag thing with "other" being the catch all. Anything that makes the flag system more cumbersome for us or for users is... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 5:17 PM on February 26, 2012
MetaTalk post: Post Subject Shows Up for a Cameo
The vitriol aimed at people who are just creating something and putting it out into the world is far uglier.

I have always wondered that. And there's the flip side, where people read vitriol into sort of the usual jokey snark and then go on the offensive, feeling totally justified because the other people started it.

I mean everyone has their idio-normal settings for how much is too much. The thing that has been interesting... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 12:41 PM on February 23, 2012
MetaTalk post: skimlinks at Metafilter?
Yeah, I'm not opposed to the idea of doing more affiliate things, I'd like to branch out from relying on Google too much for site revenue, but I wouldn't do it secretly. I have no problem in Pinterest coming up with ways to pay for their service either.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 9:56 AM on February 21, 2012
MetaTalk post: Gore warning? Really?
Yeah I guess I'd say if it's getting to the point where we see a lot of flags, or a bunch of in-thread comments about it and start getting email about it, we'll consider stepping in. If one or two people flag/complain/comment, we'll usually tell them we're not going to step in. And that sort of thing does happen sometimes too, especially in AskMe questions where people use sex-related words above the fold. And we don't do anything for that sort of stuff, nearly always. And if the post makes it... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:26 PM on February 17, 2012
So what's the threshold, then? You say it's not mandatory to include warnings, but then if some number of people complain, you add them yourselves. That seems pretty mandatory to me.

Mandatory would be us reviewing all content and adding it ourselves whenever anything involving sex or nudity is involved. That is not the case, and plenty of posts with sexy content of some sort of another has gone without an NSFW tag. Sometimes folks don't complain,... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:14 PM on February 17, 2012
Personally, I'd like there to be a higher bar for the editing of posts.

The bar is pretty high as it is. We throw the occasional NSFW or similar such warning up when it's requested and seems merited, but explicitly do not expect people to attach them to posts and encourage folks to be aware that they are not mandatory and that mefi is in practice a NSFW place if you need a guarantee. Likewise we have not encouraged a pervasive "trigger... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 6:49 PM on February 17, 2012
Metafilter moderation is still really good, but these kind of incidents remind me uncomfortably of how the Something Awful mod team was taken over by cat ladies.

The moderation team works for all the users of the site. Since we have a policy in place that says we will add NSFW tags to posts [which is basically the only sort of editing we'll do without specifically talking to the poster] this was something we felt was along those same lines. We're not... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 6:38 PM on February 17, 2012
A whole bunch of people felt that, as presented, there was something of a bait-and-switch going on and they saw something they really would rather they had not. It's not a hard-and-fast rule, or anything, but it's also something I'm pretty willing to do if people complain.

Presumably a post about a horror movie would contain at least some indication that it was about a horror movie and people could make the decision to watch it based on that. A blind "hey this is... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by restless_nomad at 12:02 PM on February 17, 2012
MetaTalk post: No More Mr Frothy
I don't bring him up, ever. I am not "one of the folks". Please leave me out of this.

You are one of the folks who winds up in threads arguing with the same group of 15-20 other folks in a way that makes the site less appealing and welcoming to the other umpty-thousand members. I'd really prefer not to get into bean counting, but yes you are one of the folks.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:20 PM on February 9, 2012
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