The Day They Tested the Manifesto
how we handled a sexism brouhaha at MetaFilter
"I know there are limits to how much disruption any group can tolerate (I've expelled a few intolerables myself), but it doesn't mean I like it: it made me angry in that old-fashioned, anarky for ever way, before it made me sad. It's not the fault of MetaFilter, or its administrators; just what happens when people try to build towers. The ideas are marvellous, the practicalities much harder to control, and in addition something nebulous gets in the way. In Babel's case it was God; in real life, and even on the internet, it's some intractable tension between freedom and function." - jennydiski
- MetaFilter is a group weblog with somewhere between 5,000 and 70,000 members.
- Moderators: mathowie, jessamyn and cortex (pb does a lot of coding)
- MetaTalk is where MeFi members go to discuss policy issues and other things concerning MetaFilter.
- Fakey mefi demographics
- Real demographics
- 35256 accounts have been activated, out of 68847 allotted userids.
- 769 users are currently banned
- 16007 different people have commented in MeFi
- 14017 have commented in AskMe
- 6779 have commented in MetaTalk
- 21453 distinct contributors total
- about a third of all genuinely participatory users have commented
- What Federated Media tells people we are
- 67% male
- 78% 18-39
- 32% HHI above $75k
- 29% managers or above
- 35% IT professionals, developers or engineers
- 47% publish their own blog
- What tools users have at their disposal: flagging, emailing, griefing, "acting out"
- What tools we have at our disposal: edit, delete, "ask nicely", banhammer, changing rules, something more subtle?
- What informs/reflects what we do: MeFi guidelines, AskMe guidelines, FAQ, wiki, precedence
- Roll your own if
you'd like more stats
Timeline of Events
Stats about "sexism threads"
- 356 distinct commenters, 2917 comments.
- "a fifth of the users who commented in metatalk between 11/16/07 and 1/23/08 contributed at least one comment into at least one of those threads. And the comments in those three threads
constitute fully one tenth of all comments in all threads over that two month period."
- MetaTalk: year - comments - monthly average
- 2008 - 20473 (jan-feb); 10236 (projected)
- 2007 - 124007 - 10333
- 2006 - 96110 - 8009
- 2005 - 87701 - 7308
What else gets people all pissed off?
Top 22 MetaTalk threads (volume of comments)
- 9622 - (2686, cult thread)
- 14194 - MeFi and antisemitism (1723, longboat thread)
- 15547 - GiveWell, or Give 'em Hell? (1426, sock puppet outing/scam)
- 15281 - Discussion Point (1163, sexism) 21
- 15330 - Your thoughts on current and future changes to make Metafilter more woman friendly (1006, sexism) 14
- 15663 - Boooooooooobs. (785, sexism)
- 10543 - (702, sock puppet outing thread)
- 15495 - Slapping someone in the face a bit too much ... (678, AskMe etiquette)
- 15801 - Are some more worthy of respect than others? (657, Christianity)
- 8942 - (649, Suicide Girls ad?)
- 9723 - (642, longboat thread)
- 14886 - Overmoderation. (609, longboat thread)
- 15398 - Sexism debate, displaced. (598, sexism)
- 13448 - (579, circumcision)
- 15276 - Hysterics (570, sexism)
- 15066 - There is a snark in the title, covered with a URL (554, LOLXIANS)
- 3344 - (540, date rape joke)
- 13019 - (537, Ted Haggard, LOLXIANS)
- 15575 - Fallout from the Givewell affair (536, sock puppets)
- 13786 - The Green Should Be White (533, anil dash is funny)
- 15797 - White people on Metafilter (513, stuffwhitepeoplelike)
- 14041 - Too much tragedy for one thread (511, gun control)