Your username is whatever you chose during the signup process and is included in the receipt you received from PayPal. If you can't remember it, please drop us a note at the contact form.
You cannot change your username. Usernames are your identity in the community and carry a lot of weight with others that read your comments. If you are changing your username you are effectively disappearing from the site and reappearing anew. Unless there is a grave and life-threatening reason to change your username, you cannot get it changed. If you are really unhappy with your username, you can sign up for an all new account. (tags: usernameuserpreferences ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
What if I forget my password? Can I change my password?
You can change your password using this form (linked on your preferences page as well).
If you have forgotten your password, you can get it reset here, which requires a working, authenticated email address to receive your password reset link. If you do not have a working email address in your profile, contact a mod to get a link to reset your password. (tags: password ) April 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
I signed up but had a PayPal problem and now they say my username isn't available. What now?
When you start the sign up process, your username is reserved. If you don't finish signing up for some reason, the username is still reserved. If you come back to try to sign up again, you'll find the username is already taken. But it's taken by you! To fix this, just try to log in to the site with the username you've chosen and you should be prompted to go through the remainder of the sign up process. If not, just contact us and we'll see if we can figure out what's going on. (tags: usernamepaypal ) September 23, 2010 - permalink - back to questions
I want an account but I don't want to use PayPal. What do I do?
Having a second active account, known as a sock puppet, is generally discouraged outside of specific circumstances. MetaFilter allows users the use of sock puppets as a courtesy and only under specific circumstances. We expect you to have one main identity on the entire site; maintaining additional accounts with unique not-clearly-sock-puppet identities is not okay. Using a sock puppet account to harass other members or otherwise be an asshole on the site is not okay. Having more than one secondary active account (except for one-off joke accounts) is not okay. Here is a recent MetaTalk thread that discusses some specifics.
Some reasons people have sock puppet accounts:
- They want to "start over" with a Brand New Day - this is only okay if the new account is not causing the same problems as the old account. Please contact the mods if you are unclear on this.
- They want to ask an occasional question or give an answer in Ask MetaFilter that is not linked to their primary account
- They have a second account for making jokey comments (see usernames like baby jesus or Official Mefi Head Complainer)
It is against the rules to use a sock puppet to get around the time limitations for AskMe, MeFi and MeTa posts. People who do this will risk losing the sock puppet account, getting a time out on their main account and/or having their extra question or post removed. While moderators generally know which accounts are sock puppets, they will not reveal that information to users. That said, it is the responsibility of the user to maintain the privacy of that account if they want it to remain private. If your behavior with a second account is problematic, the mods will close that account if you do not curtail the problem behavior promptly yourself. Ask a moderator if you have questions about when it's okay to have a second account. (tags: userssockpuppetaccountsprivacyanonymous ) April 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Can I give someone a gift MetaFilter account?
Yes, just use this link and fill in your friend's email address. They will be able to choose their own handle once they register. The invitation will include your MetaFilter username and a link to your member profile so they know who gave them the gift. (tags: metafiltergiftaccountspaypal ) November 16, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Can I close or delete my account permanently or temporarily?
Yes; if you no longer want to be a part of the MeFi community you can close your own account. If you go to your profile page when you are logged in and click Edit Profile and scroll to the bottom you will see a link that says "Close Your Account." Clicking this will take you to an "Are you sure?" page. If you confirm, your account will be closed and you will be unable to log in, post, comment or access MeFiMail. Your existing posts and comments will remain. If you change your mind at a later date and want to reactivate your account, an admin can do it for you. (tags: accountclosetimeoutprivacy ) November 25, 2007 - permalink - back to questions
I'm new. What should I do first?
Welcome! You can set up your profile with as much or as little information as you want, then look around the site. You've probably already seen the new user note, so you know about the waiting period before you can post, and the rule against linking to projects made by you or anyone you know. It's a good idea to spend time reading the site to get a sense of the culture here. Note that things can vary between parts of the site - for example, Metafilter (or MeFi) and AskMetafilter (or AskMe) have different guidelines.
On the MetaFilter wiki, there is a helpful Orientation page for new members. This FAQ has a great deal of information too. If you have a question that is not answered here or in the wiki, you can use the contact form (link in the bottom right corner of every page) to directly ask the moderators/admins. (tags: newusern00borientation ) December 12, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
Why are you asking for my email? How do I change my email address?
You need to register a working email address in your profile. Please use a real address that you check. We will not spam you, and we will not give out your address. (Only site admins can see it; they can also see the email address you used when you signed up.) We use your profile email address to send password reset emails, reply to messages you send through the Contact Form, or contact you about specific site matters.
By default, your address is hidden from everyone else and not shown on your user-facing profile page. Only if you set your preferences to show it, will your email address show up in your profile -- and even then, it only shows to registered logged-in users.
Being contactable by other users can sometimes be advantageous. Many members use a semi-disposable address for MetaFilter only so that people can contact them. You can use MeFiMail for contacting other users and being contacted if you don't want to have a user-facing email address.
This was a feature that some users had requested and it is totally optional. You can indicate your birthday [day/month/year or just year] and your age will appear on your profile to logged-in users. If you decide you no longer want to make your age/birthday visible you can revert to having no birthday showing. You can click on your birthday in your profile and see which members share your birthday. (tags: ageprofileuserpagebirthdayprivacy ) April 10, 2008 - permalink - back to questions
Why are you asking for my location?
It is entirely optional to give a location in your profile. If you give one, you will be able to use certain features that are location-based. These features include: seeing which other members live near you (you can specify a distance for "near"); getting a message if there is an IRL meetup scheduled near you; seeing how far away from you each job posting is in Jobs. Other members will also be able to see your location and see if you are "near" them. (tags: locationlatitudelongitudeprofileprivacyirljobs ) December 12, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
What profile fields are viewable by someone who is not a Metafilter member?
If you go to your preferences you'll see this note at the top of the page: "note: Items with a highlighted background are only shown to other logged-in members, and won't be seen by the general public or search engines." So most of what you enter there is only viewable by other members except for Full Name, Picture, Homepage URL, and Blurb about you. Email is only visible to members if you've elected for it to be so.
How do MetaFilter display preferences work? Can I customize the fonts and background color?
Your Site Preferences let you choose a colored (default theme) or white (plain theme) background, and customize the size and font of different text types. You can use any font that's installed in your computer, just enter the name. (If a font name isn't working, try copying the exact name of the font as it appears in your computer's Fonts folder or library.) You can set the fonts to be bigger or smaller, and you can set any font size to 0 (zero) to remove that text from the display.
The defaults are these, in case you want to return to them after changing: Body Font - Verdana; Body Font Size - 10; Byline Font - Verdana; Byline Font Size - 8; Title Font - Arial; Title Font Size - 14.
When you click Save on your Site Preferences page, the display settings you chose are saved as cookies to your browser. That means you can have different display settings for different browsers. For example, you might use the default theme on your home computer, but the plain theme on your phone. Keep in mind that adjusting your display settings will change them for the browser you are currently using, but not other browsers. So if you want to update a particular display setting across all of the browsers you use, you'll need to re-save your display preferences on each of them. Be aware that saving your display preferences will make those settings the default choices next time you load the preferences page.
What do "Links to" and "Linked by" mean on my profile page? What does it mean if someone has called me a crush, or muse, or spouse?
This profile area contains lists of your contacts. See here for more details.
About the relationship terms, do not be alarmed. The system allows a person to select a "relationship" label when they add you as a contact, and sometimes people add jokey labels. Crush or muse generally means someone liked a comment or post of yours. There is no obligation to be reciprocal with people who make you a contact. (tags: linkstolinkedbycontactssocialetiquette ) December 13, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
How do I view my own (or someone else's) previous posts, questions, and comments?
They are all viewable from your profile. Go to the My Profile link at the top of the page, or click your username anywhere it appears on the site. Your contributions are broken down by subsite, and by post/question and comment.
Can I publicly mention details from someone else's profile page?
Generally, no. User profile pages on MetaFilter are not indexed by Google. This means if someone's profile says that they live in a certain city or gives their real name, that information is not considered "public" on the site. More details here. (tags: profileprivacy ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
What does "I help fund MetaFilter" on profile pages mean?
On May 19th, Matt posted a MetaTalk thread about MetaFilter's financial problems: State of MetaFilter. In that thread, community members and casual readers began contributing to the site's PayPal account through one-time donations and recurring payments. This new source of revenue is a step toward being member-supported rather than advertising-supported. We wanted to acknowledge those members who are providing this additional help to keep this place running with a note on their profile page.
For those who don't want the note to appear on their page, there's an option in site preferences to disable the note. Uncheck the box next to "Display funding message?" under "Contact / Privacy" settings.
MeFi Mail is a private messaging system for MetaFilter users and allows contact with users who may not have an email address in their profile. It is enabled by default but can be turned off in the profile editing area. Members can opt to have these messages sent directly to their profile email address.
There is a little envelope on the header bar of each page of MetaFilter, next to your username. The little envelope will turn orange when new messages are received. To check your Mefi Mail, click the envelope; it will take you to your Mefi Mail inbox.
To send someone Mefi Mail, go to their profile page by clicking their username. Members that have this option enabled will have a "send MeFi Mail" option visible on their profile page underneath their username that can be used to contact them.
Users can also opt to block MeFi Mail. Users who have blocked MeFi Mail can not send or receive MeFiMail and their profile page will say "MeFi Mail Disabled". To block Mefi Mail on a per-user basis, scroll to the bottom of a Mefi Mail from that user and click "Block this sender." If you have blocked a user and want to unblock them, you can do this from your contacts page at the bottom where it says "Manage blocked senders".
HTML cannot be used in MeFi Mail messages but URLs on a line by themselves will turn into hyperlinks. Banned or time-outed users cannot use or access MeFiMail.
MeFi Mail reminders are system messages sent from MetaFilter to your MeFi Mail inbox. The most common messages are reminders to update Ask MetaFilter threads 30 days after posting. You'll also receive messages about new posts you make to any MetaFilter site. Those message include the post URL which can help you find the post again in the future. If you opt-out of MeFi Mail reminders you won't receive these messages.
You can also receive MefiMail notifications about meetups happening near you. To set this up, go to your Preferences page. If you have entered a location for yourself, under "Contact Preferences" you will be able to check a box for IRL notifications. (tags: mefimailpreferencesirl ) March 30, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
What about adding more email-like features to MeFiMail?
What are meetups? Can I be alerted if there's one in my area?
Meetups are when people who know each other from MetaFilter get together in real life. The meetings are usually pretty informal, and happen all over the world. The subsite IRL exists for planning and organizing meetups and other events. Upcoming meetups are listed in the sidebar of MetaTalk as well. See here for more details.
Users can opt to be notified of meetups happening in their area in their user profile preferences. To do this, select "Receive IRL alerts?" under Contact Preferences. This feature will only work if you have entered a location for yourself. (tags: meetupsphotosmetatalkmetaIRL ) April 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
What are contacts? Someone made me a contact, now what?
Adding someone as a contact is a simple way to keep track of their contributions on the site. You can have up to 750 contacts. To add a contact, go to that person's profile page and click on the "Add user as a contact" link there. You can choose what your relationship is with this user, or leave that part blank.*
Making someone a contact allows you to easily see some of their site actions in your Contact Activity sidebar on the front page: you can see if they make a new post, make a comment that gets more than 12 favorites, get a "best answer" in AskMe, or add contacts. You can also see their activity on the My Contacts page. If you have made someone a mutual contact -- you have linked them and they have linked you -- you will be able to tag each other's posts in AskMe and MeFi.
The most common reason to add someone as a contact is that you enjoyed a comment or post they made, and you want to see future things they post. There is no obligation to be reciprocal if someone has added you as a contact.
When you add a user as a contact, this information will be visible on your own user page as well as your usercontacts page. Contacts you have added are listed in your profile with the phrase "Links to", and people who have added you as a contact are listed under "Linked by".
How do I link to my other online communities/social sites in my profile?
If you contribute to other online communities, you can link to your profiles at some other sites from your MetaFilter profile page. (announced here) To add a link, click on "Preferences" at the top of any page, and scroll down to the bottom of the "Customize Metafilter" page. Under the heading "Social Apps", choose a service name from the drop-down menu and then enter your username at that site. If you want to add another link, click "add another service" and you'll get another menu/name combo. When you're finished, click "Save your Preferences" to save everything.
If you want to remove a link to a site you've added, go back to editing your profile. Clear your username for the link you want to remove and click "Save your Preferences". The link won't show up on your profile anymore.
Adding a Flickr, Twitter, Vimeo, LibraryThing or This Is My Jam username to your profile will give you the option to add a widget with your recent activity from those sites to your profile page.
It's not always easy to figure out your username at other services, so here's a quick guide to finding your username/id at some of the more challenging sites:
To add your Facebook account to your profile you'll need your Facebook URL Name. To find it, go to Facebook and click on your name in the upper-left corner of the page. On the following page note the URL in your browser's address bar, it should look something like this:
Copy the entire url name and paste it here. Sometimes the URL Name contains periods, but keep in mind it will never contain a space.
Your Flickr photostream URL does not necessarily contain your Flickr username, and your Yahoo! login is not necessarily your Flickr username. To find your Flickr username, sign into Flickr and take a look at the line at the top of the page that says, "Signed in as...". Whatever appears there as a link is your official Flickr username. Make sure your Flickr profile isn't set to hide your profile from searches.
Go look at your public profile page (you'll have to log in if you haven't already). Your profile page will show you your public profile URL and whatever is at the end is what you need to enter. You'll need to customize your profile URL to be something memorable/personal on this page if you haven't already. When you're done, your profile URL should look like this:
Grab [some name] and enter it as your LinkedIn Name in your MeFi profile.
Log into SportsFilter and click on your profile page. You should see a URL like this:
Jot down the number, and enter it as your SportsFilter ID in your MeFi profile.
Same drill as SportsFilter. Find your profile page and you should see a URL like this:
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft profiles are character and realm specific, so you'll need to specify the realm name and the character on that realm. To do that, find your character at World of Warcraft and note the URL. It should look like this:
Now that you have the URL, copy the realm and character name as it appears in the URL and paste it into your MetaFilter profile. You should have a something that looks like "realm/name". We need both pieces separated by a / to link to your WoW profile.
Go to the blog you want to link and look at the URL. It should be in the form of [prefix].blogspot.com. Note that prefix and add that at your MetaFilter profile.
Go to the blog you want to link and look at the URL. It should be in the form of [prefix].tumblr.com. Note that prefix and add that at your MetaFilter profile.
Go to the blog you want to link and look at the URL. It should be in the form of [prefix].posterous.com. Note that prefix and add that at your MetaFilter profile.
Go to your Urban Spoon profile and note the URL. It ends with both a numeric ID and name, like so:
Copy everything after profile/ and paste it into your MetaFilter profile. So the bit you paste will look like this: 12345/myname.html.
Log into Fitbit and find your "view profile" link. Note the URL, and copy everything after user/. It's typically a short string of numbers and letters like this: 224MH2. That's what you want to copy and paste into your MetaFilter profile.
Finding your Amazon profile ID is a little tricky. Go to amazon.com and click the "Your Account" link in the upper right corner. From there, look for the "Personalization" section at the bottom of the page. Under the "Community" column, click "Your Public Profile". Note the URL. It should look something like this:
The section you want to copy is everything after the final slash and before the question mark. In this case that's: A6N8HSYO8DN1R. Copy that ID and paste it into your MetaFilter profile.
To find your Google+ profile ID, head to the front page of G+. Click the profile icon at the top of the page. (It's the circle with the head in it.) You should see your profile, listing your posts. Click 'About' and note the URL in your browser's address bar. It should look like this:
Favorites are an internal bookmark system for MetaFilter -- a way to save a good thread or comment to a central place that you can come back to later to catch up or read again. To save a post to your favorites, you simply hit the [+] link. It should show up on your favorites page, which is linked in the header menu and on your own user page. You can remove your favorites from the Favorites page or by clicking the [-] link.
Your favorites are public, so other readers will know what you've saved for later. If you want to keep things private, use your browser's bookmark functionality instead. If a comment has been chosen as a favorite, it will have a number in brackets next to the [+] link indicating how many people chose it as a favorite. Clicking the number will show you a list of who favorited that comment. You can mark your own comments as favorites (but your userpage does contain a link to all the comments and posts you have made, so you do not need to favorite them for reference). (tags: favoritesfeatures ) May 10, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Why can't I add favorites?
What is My Favorites?
The My Favorites tab shows recent comment activity in threads you have favorited. If you favorite selectively, this is a way to monitor threads you are interested in, without commenting and adding them to your Recent Activity. (tags: favoritescustomviews ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
What do the counts on the Popular Posts or Popular Questions page mean?
The Popular Posts tab on MetaFilter and the Popular Questions tab on Ask MetaFilter show posts and questions that have received the most favorites from members within a specific time period: the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, or all time.
While browsing these pages you can see both the total number of favorites and the number of favorites added within the current set time period. Favorite counts are shown as a text link that says something like [24 favorites (12 in the last 24 hours)]. That means the post has received 12 favorites in the specified time period and 24 favorites total. If a post only has [x favorites] listed, that means all favorites were added within the specified time period. Click the link to see the list of all members who added the post as a favorite and when they added it. (tags: favoritescustomviewsstats ) December 13, 2008 - permalink - back to questions
There is an upper limit of 240 favorites per day (that you can add), to keep people from abusing the favorites system. You can receive as many favorites as people decide to give you. (tags: favorites ) February 18, 2009 - permalink - back to questions
Can I change how favorites are displayed for me? Can I hide them entirely?
Yes. You can change how favorites are displayed to you, throughout the site, by changing a setting in your Preferences.
The options are:
- Default - shows a number indicating how many favorites a comment has
- "Has Favorites" - only indicates if a comment has favorites or not, does not show a number. If you want to see the number for a given comment, you can reveal it by mousing-over the phrase "has favorites".
- "Hide Favorites" - does not display favorites to you at all (however, you can still use the Favorite feature) (tags: favoritespreferences ) December 11, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
Can I search within my favorites?
Yes. Click on the number after "Favorites:" from your profile and you will be taken to a page that includes a search window you can use. Type the word(s) you would like to find into the search window and then click "Search." The first returns will be from your favorited posts, and if you then click on the "Comments" tab on that results page, you'll see search returns for comments. (tags: favoritessearch ) April 14, 2014 - permalink - back to questions
What is Recent Activity?
Recent Activity, linked in the header bar, is a convenient way to keep up with conversations you have been part of, without needing to go check each one separately. This feature allows you to keep track of new comments in threads you have either commented in or posted. Recent Activity shows the last ten comments for threads in which you have participated within the past month, in the order of their latest activity. If your comment is one of the last ten, it will be highlighted so you can tell it apart from other comments.
If you are tired of seeing updates from a given thread, you can remove it from Recent Activity by clicking "remove from activity" next to that thread on your Recent Activity page. (tags: recentactivitycustomviews ) April 21, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
What does the comment highlighting in Recent Activity mean?
Some comments in Recent Activity are highlighted in different ways to give you more information about that comment. Answers from Ask MetaFilter that have been marked as a Best Answer will have a different background color. Answers in Ask MetaFilter that are from the person who asked the question will have a border on the left side of the comment. Your comments and answers will have a complete border around them so you can spot them quickly. (tags: recentactivity ) June 19, 2013 - permalink - back to questions
What is My Mefi? What is My Ask?
My Mefi (a tab on the Metafilter front page), and My Ask (a tab on the AskMetafilter page), are customizable views of the sites. For both, you can choose tags or categories you are interested in, and then the My Mefi or My Ask tab will show you only the posts or questions related to the subjects you chose.
To get started, go to either tab, and it will have a link to your Preferences page where you can set up which tags and categories you're interested in. For example, you could set up a Mefi page that only shows you posts about art and food, or a version of AskMe that includes everything but relationship questions. You can always change your preferences later, too. (tags: askmemymefimyaskcustomviewsmetafilteraskmetafilter ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
Can I follow all the threads I have commented in, by looking in one place?
Can I see which posts or comments have received the most favorites?
Yes. The Popular page displays the posts and comments with the most favorites over the past 7 days. The Favorites tab on both Metafilter and Ask Metafilter's front pages will show you the most popular posts. See here for more details. Bear in mind the "all time" list is limited by when the favorites feature was introduced. (tags: favoritesstats ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
Can I see which threads are currently most active?
Yes. The Recent Comments tab in Metafilter and MetaTalk will show you which threads have recent comments in them. This will often include the most recently posted threads, but will also catch older threads that are still chugging along. (tags: recentcustomviews ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
Can I make a selective list of threads that I want to follow? Can I follow threads without commenting in them?
Some people want to follow threads in a way similar to Recent Activity, but without commenting in them. Right now, you can do this by favoriting only threads you want to follow, and then using the My Favorites tab (see here) to track activity from those threads. (tags: customviewsfavoritesrecentactivity ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
After you have posted a thread (a post in MetaFilter, a question in AskMetafilter, etc), you have to wait this long before posting a second thread in that same area of the site. There is no similar limit for comments.
MetaFilter - 24 hours
AskMetafilter - one week
Projects - one month
Music - 24 hours
Jobs - 24 hours between posting job Openings; you can only post one Availability total
Podcast - only admins post the podcast
IRL - no time limit, but you can have no more than 10 active IRL threads at a time
MetaTalk - one week
After a certain amount of time, threads are automatically closed to new comments. The length of time varies on different parts of the site.
MetaFilter - one month
AskMetafilter - one year
Projects - never
Music - never
Jobs - there are no comments on Jobs
Podcast - one month
IRL - 6 months
MetaTalk - one month
On MetaTalk and IRL only, a thread can be closed by an admin but not deleted - such threads remain visible on the main MetaTalk or IRL page. (See here for more on why this happens.) Note that this fuctionality does not exist on the other subsites, so for example it is not possible for an admin or a user to "close" an AskMe thread without deleting it. (tags: threadscommentsclosed ) August 2, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
How do I edit or delete my post?
You can't delete or edit your own post once you've submitted it, so be sure to use the preview and spellcheck features. If you want to fix an error or have your post removed, you must request this of the moderators by using the contact form.
How do I edit or delete my comment? What are the rules about the edit function?
Once you post a comment you'll have five minutes to fix any typos. Click the 'Edit' link in the comment byline to edit your comment. After five minutes, the Edit link no longer appears next to the comment. At that point, you can use the contact form to ask a moderator to make the changes for you.
Please keep in mind that this feature exists to fix typos only. Please do not use the "Edited to add" notation that is used on some other websites. If you need to make changes to the meaning of your comment (including fixing a factually incorrect statement, or just adding another thought), please just post another comment to clarify.
If you want to delete a comment after you make it, do not use the edit feature. Flag it or use the contact form to reach the mods, who can delete it for you.
If you know how to use HTML, you can use an abbreviated list of HTML tags in your posts, including a, b, blockquote, center, em, i, li, ol, pre, small, strike, strong, sub, sup, and ul. You can just type them into the compose/comment box.
To add italics, for example, you would type: <em>italicized word</em>
which shows as: italicized word
To add a link to example.com you would type: <a href="http://example.com">here is a link to example.com</a>
which shows as: here is a link to example.com
If you use a modern browser, you'll see B/I/link buttons below the compose/comment box that you can use to add basic formatting. To make a link using the button, you highlight the word or phrase you want to be the link text (like the phrase "here is a link to example.com" above), click the link button, and type or paste the URL into the box that appears.
Here's a short screencast showing how to use the buttons to insert HTML for you:
Because the site strips a lot of extraneous HTML from questions, it can be difficult to post things that need special formatting or include special characters. If you want to include code snippets or other text with your question, you can use a tool like pastebin that allows you to link to properly formatted code that you can mark up with syntax highlighting. (tags: codehtmlaskmesyntaxmarkupaskmetafilter ) June 16, 2009 - permalink - back to questions
How do I create the [more inside] jump when posting?
The break and the "more inside" text are created for you automatically after you fill in the posting page form. There are several boxes to fill in when posting. On Mefi, the title and the box called "Description" will form the part above the fold (before the "more inside") which appears on the main page; the "Extended description" forms the part below the fold (after the "more inside") which appears after a person has clicked on your post.
On AskMe, the question title and the box called "your question" will be the part that appears on the main page; keep this part brief. The next box called "extended explanation" will be the [more inside] part of your question and can be longer. Again, the words "more inside" will automatically be added to the end of your question.
Post or comments are not edited for content. Sometimes a post or comment will be edited for these reasons
- at the request of the poster, for minor reasons
- fixing a broken link
- fixing a typo or broken HTML
- putting a NSFW indicator in
- moving part of a long post to a "more inside" location
- AskMe posts where the only question is in the title
- adding tags
- removing personal information from a post [ex: whois records, email addresses] that is against the guidelines
- removing a gratuitous self-link in an otherwise okay post or comment (tags: editingcommentspostsmetafilteraskmetafilteraskme ) May 3, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
If a thread has been deleted, can I still find it someplace?
Yes. Threads that are deleted from MetaFilter, MetaTalk or AskMetaFilter still show up at their old URLs with the reasons for deletion written in, but they no longer show up any other place on the site. They are also closed to new comments. In extremely unusual instances a thread will be removed with no trace.
If your post was deleted, check your Mefi Mail. If you received a Mefi Mail automatic reminder message when your post went up, that message will have the URL of your post. Go to that URL and you will be able to see the post and a brief note about why it was deleted.
My Mefi post or AskMe question was edited to remove my cute "more inside" play on words, wtf?
The "more inside" words don't appear when people read Mefi or AskMe via RSS. As a result when you end your question with "as always there's..." it makes no sense to people reading via RSS. Editing cute more inside jokes is one of the only edits we make to a post that is not at the poster's request. (tags: moreinsideaskmeeditingaskmetafiltermetafilter ) October 18, 2007 - permalink - back to questions
My HTML seemed to work in the live preview but didn't come through correctly. Is this a bug or intentional?
The live preview seen below the comment forms shows a real-time approximation of your comment, but does not go through the extensive text filtering done on the server side. As a result, it's possible to place almost any HTML code into a comment and reproduce it in the live preview area, but that code is stripped out once the comment is posted to the site.
If you are wondering if your HTML code will display properly, please use the Preview button before your post. The Preview button will render things like < into < however, so before you post, you have to re-type things like angle brackets into their < format. We are aware that this is a less-than-perfect solution. (tags: htmllivepreviewcommentsmetafilteraskmemetatalk ) October 17, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Tags are a way of adding keywords to your posts as a way of making it easier to find and organize posts.
Tags can be added by the original poster either at the time of posting or later. Tags can also be added or removed by the site admins. Mutual contacts can add tags to each others' posts. Tags do not cross over from one part of the site to the other.
Tags can only include certain ASCII characters: English letters, numbers, and the following five punctuation marks _ ' \ - ! (underscore, apostrophe, backslash, hyphen, exclamation point). Tags cannot include accented letters or other special characters.
You can view pages tagged with specific words either by clicking on a tag, or going to a tag URL, for example:
AskMe also has categories which can be used with tags for more specific searching.
Note: when a post is removed, the tags for that post are not removed from the index. This can sometimes cause discrepancies between the number of posts that are claimed to exist having a certain tag, and those that actually show up in a list of posts with that tag (example). (tags: tagsrsskeywordsfeeds ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
What are some guidelines for tagging my posts?
Try to add tags that will help people find your post later and avoid double-posting the same thing. Things to include in tags include proper names of people or places (all one word), umbrella tags like art or music or politics, helpful terms such as operating systems or brand names and, of course, the loose subject of your post like obituary or vacation. Try to include a few good tags for your post but don't go overboard adding a zillion of them. People can combine tags for searching (car+stereo), so you don't need to include all possible combinations of your terms. Admins may add or remove tags. (tags: tags,askme,mefi ) October 29, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
What is the etiquette concerning members' or non-members' personal details and profile information?
User profile pages on MetaFilter are not indexed by Google. This means if someone's profile says that they live in a certain city or gives their real name, that information is not considered "public" on the site. Bringing a user's personal details into an unrelated thread to hector or harass them (especially details from other websites that they participate in) is generally considered not okay. Use care when deciding to bring someone's personal information into a thread, and try to err on the side of mentioning without linking.
Bringing WHOIS and other personal information into a thread [i.e. "Here's this guy's phone number!"] is also not okay. We harbor no illusions that this stuff isn't available, but bringing it into a thread can cause trouble for the site and creates an atmosphere that we'd rather avoid. When in doubt, please feel free to ask a mod. (tags: profileetiquetteprivacymetafilteraskmetafiltermetatalkaskme ) August 20, 2009 - permalink - back to questions
What does a single period in a comment by itself mean?
What does 'threadsitting' mean? What does 'threadshitting' mean?
Threadsitting is when a user assumes a proprietary approach to a thread and becomes the person through which all thread discussion happens. This can be when one person has an oppositional stance on a topic and demands the other participants satisfy their repeated questioning. It can also occur when an AskMe querent responds to all comments in their thread or asks a number of follow-up questions. Making a thread "all about you" in a variety of ways is discouraged and sometimes mods will step in to please ask people to not threadsit so that everyone can join in the discussion. In general, we require that AskMe updates from the asker be a) relatively few and b) focused on clarifying the original question as necessary, rather than discussing the answers as they come up.
What are self-links? Are self-links ever okay on any part of the site?
"Self-links" are links to your own site, to a site that you host or contribute to substantially, or to a site of someone who is a client, friend or relative of yours, or a site/event/cause you're promoting. Some more detail is in this MetaTalk comment.
It is never okay to include a self-link in a front page post on Metafilter's community blog. People who self-link in front page posts on MetaFilter will have their posts removed and their account banned. It is never okay to use MetaFilter as a promotional tool. Transparency and honesty are important to the community and we rely on users to abide by the guidelines and participate honestly.
On Ask MetaFilter, questions that seem to be thinly veiled promotion or self-promotion will be removed. Questions that seem to be being asked with the intent to promote a poster's product or service, or client/friend's product or service, will be removed and the participating accounts banned. If you are unsure about a specific example, please contact us.
Linking to your own site in an Ask MetaFilter question is only okay if it has something specific to do with the question being asked and is necessary for people to provide an answer, for example "Can you look at my logo and tell me why everyone thinks it looks like a devil?" or "What else do I need to do to this website to make it ADA compliant?" (Even then, an extra-safe move is to link your site on your profile page and tell people they can see it by going through your profile.) Other self-links will be removed. AskMe posts that look like link-heavy MeFi posts or other promotional posts with a question tacked to the end of it are not okay.
In comments, in well-defined circumstances, self-links can be okay. Including a link to your own site in a Metafilter comment is okay provided that it has some relevance to the topic being discussed, and you clearly disclose your affiliation to the site or site-owner, and this type of comment is not your only form of site participation. Random off-topic insertions of self-links into other posts are discouraged and such links may be removed. Similarly, linking to your own content in AskMe answers is okay to do occasionally and with disclosure. People who seem to be self-linking continually, or seemingly with spammy intent may have their content removed and their account banned.
Should I use an URL shortener or link shortener, like I would on Twitter?
Please don't. There's no length limit here, and it's better if people can see what they're clicking on. Mods will expand short URLs when they see them. There is a difference, however, between site-specific URL shorteners like youtu.be and nytim.es and link shortening sites such as is.gs and j.mp, where the former is okay if not preferred while the latter is something we'd prefer people avoid. People who use link shorteners as a way of sketchily hiding affiliate codes may risk having their account banned. (tags: linkslinkshortenersshortlinkmetafilteraskmetafilteraskme ) July 25, 2011 - permalink - back to questions
What makes a good front page post to MetaFilter?
According to the guidelines page "A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others." Posts shouldn't be terribly long, and they don't have to contain multiple links or end with a discussion-sparking question. The Best Post of the Day contest from August 2006 contains many examples of a wide variety of good MetaFilter posts. (tags: fppmetafilterposts ) April 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Why was my MetaFilter post deleted?
When a thread is deleted, it is closed to new comments and is removed from the front page but can still be viewed at the permanent URL for the thread. There is a brief "reason for deletion" given when a MetaFilter thread is removed. The most common reasons are:
- double-post - the exact link or one linking to nearly the same content has already been posted
- self-link or friends-link - you posted something to MetaFilter that is on your own site or that you contributed heavily towards, or that your friend made, or that you're involved in promoting
- newsfilter - you posted a link to a news article without creating a post that would lead to good discussion
- axegrindfilter - you posted on a hot-button topic that you frequently post about and/or used heavy-handed editorializing language.
- broken link - you posted a link to something that is no longer available on the web
- stunt post - you were doing something cutesy or pointed with your post that was making some sort of statement, not linking to something neat on the web
- fundraising/promotion - you linked to a "sign my petition" or fundraising link [Kickstarter, indiegogo]
MetaFilter is a lightly moderated site and we prefer if users can work out their differences on their own. We encourage discussion and debate. However there are some types of comments that are either toxic to discussion or disallowed on the site entirely that may get removed by moderators. A few reasons comments may be removed are
- Spamming. Adding off-topic, context-free, or SEO-laden comments with undisclosed links to your own or others' sites.
- Threadshitting. Early dismissive or "Who cares" comments that add nothing to the discussion.
- Attacks on or interrogation of other users. This includes outing of personal information from profile pages or other sites.
- Threats against other people or against oneself. Suicide threats or "Someone should shoot that guy in the head" or "I hope he gets raped to death in prison" comments create problems for the site.
- Comments about moderation. These need to be in MetaTalk or sent through the contact form, they do not go on MetaFilter. This includes metadiscussion of flagging, comment deletions, and whether a post should be deleted or not.
- Racist or otherwise hateful comments. This specifically includes misgendering and ironic racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia; people who sarcastically put on a racist voice to make a point about racism, or who make "She was asking for it" jokes (assuming everyone should know they are joking) cause thread derails and make discussion difficult.
- Making a thread all about you. MetaFilter is a large community and discussion threads are for everyone. Please do not make a thread all about your own opinions and ideas at the expense of other people trying to have a discussion.
- Trolling. If your behavior is indistinguishable from trolling, you may be treated as a troll. If you need to call someone out as a troll, go to MetaTalk please.
Occasionally a comment will be removed which then leaves a bunch of other comments responding to it just hanging there and these will sometimes get removed as well even though there is no problem with them. Mods use their own discretion and the input of the flagging queue to help guide those decisions. If you have a question about a comment removal, please use the contact form to ask about it. The MetaFilter comment deletion rate is about 1%. Most people never have a comment deleted. (tags: deletedcommentsdeletionMeFimetafiltermoderation ) March 5, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
What is double posting? Is there a statute of limitations on double posting?
A double post is when someone posts something to the front page of MetaFilter (or sometimes MetaTalk) that has been there before.
There is no hard and fast rule on when a post is not a double anymore. For an identical URL and a site that hasn't changed in content "a few years" is a good guideline. For a site with the same URL and new content, indicating the previous post in your new post is a good idea. If there is a post on a similar topic still on the front page, please post your link into the open thread instead of starting a new post.
With few exceptions, there is no such thing as a doublepost in AskMe although users should generally search prior questions before posting to determine whether a very similar question has already been asked and answered. (tags: doublepostlinkURLmetafilterflag ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
How can I check if something has been posted before, to avoid double posting?
The New Post form will automatically check for you. Just enter the URL and click "Preview."
For better searching, leave off everything but the domain name -- no "http," no "www" and no directory or html suffix information. This makes it more likely the search will catch a double.
You can also plug a URL into the Search box on any page, or search in Google by pasting the URL into Google along with this string: site:www.metafilter.com (tags: doublepostURLsearchmetafilterlink ) January 25, 2013 - permalink - back to questions
If my post has more than one link, or the link isn't first, do I need to use the URL box?
The "URL" and "Link title" fields are there for your convenience. If you have a one link post you can just fill them in and go. If you want to make a post with a few links, or without the beginning text as your link, you can skip those boxes (but don't skip the title box) and just write the HTML for the links in the post yourself. (tags: htmlpostfpplinkmetafilter ) January 11, 2007 - permalink - back to questions
Can I post a link to just a short news bulletin if there's a breaking news story?
There are very rare cases where this is appropriate, usually large scale disasters (like once-in-a-lifetime events). Updates to the latest political intrigue do not qualify. Generally speaking, if a breaking story isn't linked on the Internet yet, it won't make a very good post. If you're posting it thinking, "I'd better hurry before someone else posts this" — then it's probably not a good post. (tags: breakingnewsnewsfiltermetafilter ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Can I post a link to something behind a free registration?
Generally speaking, no. Things that you link to should be freely available on the web. This means no registration (use the NYTimes link generator for NYT articles) even if there is a handy workaround using bugmenot. This goes for double for links behind reasonably prevalent pay walls (Chronicle of Higher Education, JSTOR content, etc); try to make sure your link is available for everyone before you put it on MetaFilter. (tags: registrationpaywallnewyorktimesmetafilter ) March 27, 2007 - permalink - back to questions
Can I post a fundraiser, or a petition for a worthy cause?
Should I include an NSFW warning if my link is not safe for work? What about spoilers?
Generally if what is behind a link is not safe for work (porn, nudity, shock sites, sound) a NSFW indicator is appreciated. Admins will sometimes add NSFW to links, especially front page posts, if the poster doesn't include them. The same is true for spoilers -- posts that indicate the ending of a book, movie, sporting event etc -- please try to be polite and include them inside the thread or a [more inside] section rather than in the post itself. Mods do not police spoilers on the site except to try to keep them off the front pages of the subsites.
Do not assume that all content that isn't safe for work browsing will be labeled as such. There are always instances where the NSFW indicator is missing, and the admins cannot be expected to catch every single one of them and fix it. The same is true for spoilers, which the admins will try to tuck inside a post but otherwise do not alter or edit. When browsing, it is safest to consider the NSFW tag and the spoiler indication a favor performed by the admins and posters, rather than an expectation or obligation. ROT-13, while a great way to avoid spoilers, is problematic for a large diverse community and should probably be avoided when possible.
Should I include a trigger warning about upsetting content in my post?
We ask people to try to be considerate of others when posting about upsetting or graphic content. This means giving readers enough of a heads-up through the wording of your post that readers who want to avoid particular subjects can do that. There is no requirement to use any specific phrasing such as "trigger warning" to do this; it is often more useful to readers just to use normal words to identify the subject matter of the post so readers can make informed choices.
Pepsi Blue has become a sort of catch-all catcall for something that's a possible shill posting on MetaFilter - that is, an ad or product endorsement for reasons other than just overall consumer joy. The reason why Pepsi Blue was chosen had to do with the large number of bloggers who seemed to pay special notice of the Pepsi Blue launch, including this post on MetaFilter.
Many MetaFilter members are suspicious of posts (and to a lesser extent, comments) that appear to endorse a (usually new) product or service. If you do want to make a post recommending a product, it is a good idea that you shouldn't have a special interest, financial or otherwise, in the product. Even if you don't, you should still be prepared to face some probing questions in the thread. There are ad sites out there already where such posts might be better received. (tags: pepsiblueadslingometafilter ) March 30, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
What makes a good question for Ask MetaFilter?
Here are some guidelines. Often the key to getting good answers in Ask MetaFilter is spending some time crafting a good question. Here are some tips
1. Be concise. While it can be tempting to include every detail of a conflict or a dilemma, try to stick to details that are necessary for people to understand and answer your question. Try to differentiate between what is just venting and upset feelings and what is important to the answerer about your problem.
2. Be specific. Some questions literally can not be answered if we don't know the details. Relevant details make for more helpful responses.
3. Break information into memorable chunks. Put important details together. Feel free to use bullet points. Even if you started with your question, if your question is long, repeat the thing you'd like help with at the end.
4. Proofread, spellcheck and preview. While mods can go in and make edits, they may not be able to do it immediately. Make sure you've spelled things correctly, make sure your links work, make sure your question isn't just a big wall of text with no paragraph breaks.
5. Stay calm. You will get a better response to your question if you do not seem angry, irritable, ranting or otherwise unreliable as a narrator. If you can't ask your question with some level of objectivity, it might be better to wait until you can.
Try to read your question as if you didn't know you. Is there enough information? Is there too much information? Is the story easy to follow? If it's on a sensitive topic have you included another method of contact [MeMail or a throwaway email address]? If it turns out you've left something out, please feel free to email the mods via the contact form and we'll be happy to update your question or you can leave a comment in the thread. (tags: askmequestionsaskmetafiltergoodpost ) October 21, 2011 - permalink - back to questions
My Ask Metafilter question was removed as chatfilter. What does that mean?
Ask Metafilter questions need to have some possible answer or should be asking for information that will be put to some practical use. Chatty open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of Ask Metafilter and push other questions off the front page. If you want to avoid having your question flagged and possibly removed, here are some things to avoid.
- Questions where everyone's answer is equally valid along the lines of "What's your favorite X?". Maybe there is a reason you want to know? Super, just put it in your question.
- Asking the question and giving your own answer before getting the answers of others, saying some variant of "I'll go first" If you can authoritatively answer your own question, it's probably not right for AskMe.
- Questions with no problem to be solved or where the problem is some variant of "I'm curious if other people feel like I do"
- Open-ended unanswerable or hypothetical questions like "What if Hitler had never been born?" or made up "what if" science questions. Creating arbitrary constraints and then playing "what if" is not a good use of AskMe.
- Questions that are some version of "What is the deal with X?"or "X sucks, am I right?" tend to not go well on Ask MetaFilter. Please do not rant on AskMe and pretend it is a question.
Ask MetaFilter has more strict guidelines than MetaFilter. If an Ask MetaFilter thread is removed, there will be a reason for deletion at the old URL for the question. If you posted a question that disappeared, check your MefiMail for an automated New Post message that includes the URL of the question. Go to that URL and you'll be able to see why the question was deleted.
Ask MetaFilter questions should have a purpose or a problem to be solved. Since members get one AskMe post per week, please do not try to jam multiple questions into a single question, a few related questions in one post are fine.
Common reasons for thread removal are chatfilter questions, open-ended hypothetical questions, rants posing as questions, questions asking how to do things that are illegal or borderline illegal, questions about suicide, questions about how to get revenge, questions asking for detailed personal/private information, "why does X suck/not suck?" questions, and nonsense questions. Please do not Ask MetaFilter to do your homework for you. If you are feeling suicidal, please seek in-person help. MetaFilter has compiled a list of resources to assist you.
Ask MetaFilter comments should address the main question being asked. Common reasons for comment removal are wisecracks, derailing/ranting/axegrinding, picking a fight with or heavy chastising of the question asker, debating/chat among commenters, single word posts (yes, no, DTMFA &c.) and other non-answers that should probably be brought to MetaTalk. While it's okay to ask follow-up questions to the original asker, piggybacking questions [asking your own related question within someone else's AskMe] will often be removed. (tags: askmeaskmetafiltercommentspostsdeletion ) September 10, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
When is it okay to do a "Critique my X!" post on Ask MetaFilter?
Ask MetaFilter is sometimes used for people who want feedback on something they have worked on whether it's an OK Cupid profile, a resume, a piece of fiction/poetry or a website. While AskMe is not for general critiquing sessions, it is for solving problems. Problem-solving based questions are okay. Here are some guidelines on how to make a post asking for a critique that is within the site guidelines
- Content must be publicly viewable and stay that way. Making an OK Cupid profile only temporarily public, for example, breaks the question for future readers.
- Askers must have specific questions about the content not just "Tell me what you think." What is the outcome you are looking for? What have you already tried? What is not working that you need help with?
- Questions must not be looking to self-promote. Resume critiques must be clearly not also job-hunting. Web site reviews must also be clearly not click-bait. See here for more about self-linking.
How do I include a picture or photo with my AskMe question?
AskMetafilter does not host images, so there is no way to upload a picture directly to AskMe. Instead, you must upload your picture to another site and then link to it from AskMe. You can post the image on your own website, or use one of the many free image hosting services that will allow you to upload an image - such as Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, etc. Once you upload your image, copy its URL and link to it from your AskMe question. (tags: AskMeAskMetafilterpicturephotoimagelink ) February 15, 2013 - permalink - back to questions
How do I post an anonymous question in AskMe? Is there a function for anonymous follow-ups?
The anonymous posting form can be reached from the "New Question" page of AskMetafilter. When you use this form, your question goes into a queue that is only read by the admins. It will have to be approved, so it won't be posted immediately. Generally questions are approved (or not) within 48 hours. Not all anon questions will be posted, but most will. If you are wondering about a question you submitted a few days ago, it is fine to ask an admin about it.
Your posting is not linked to your username in any way in the MetaFilter database; anonymous questions are posted through the Anonymous user account. However, the admins can ascertain who posted the question if they need to. Anonymous questions are for basic privacy, not for hiding from Interpol. You can read more about how the AnonyMe mechanism works in this thread.
Questions about illegal activities are unlikely to be approved. Questions whose only answers are "see a doctor" or "see a lawyer" are unlikely to be approved. Questions about ordinary subject matter that doesn't seem to fit the needs of being anonymous may not be approved. Please do not ask questions about suicide or revenge. (If you are feeling suicidal, please seek in-person help. The ThereIsHelp page has a list of resources/hotlines.) We can not promise to keep your information confidential if we think you might harm yourself or others.
There is no mechanism for following up anonymously, but the admins will post a follow-up comment to an anonymous question for you -- use the contact form linked at the bottom right of each page to reach the admins. Other MeFi users are often willing to do this too. Sometimes people set up disposable email accounts so they can be contacted about an anonymous posting. This feature is not intended to provide absolute anonymity, please do not use it if that is what you require.
If you need to ask a question that's not associated with your main account, and you want to be able to follow-up by yourself, you are permitted to buy an extra "sockpuppet" account. Here are the guidelines about second accounts. We ask that people use the anonymous feature sparingly, not more than once or twice a year. If you feel you want to ask a number of questions separately from your main account, getting a second account may be a better solution. (tags: askmetafilterprivacyanonymousaskmeanonyme ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
How long does it usually take for an anonymous question to be posted to Ask Metafilter?
Usually anonymous questions are posted within a few days. Some types of questions may not be approved such as illegal, repetitive, trollish, ranty, unanswerable or obvious questions, or ones that don't appear to require anonymity. If you have a question about the status of your anonymous question, you can contact cortex or get in touch with the mod team via the contact form. (tags: askmeanonymeaskmetafilteranonymous ) April 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Is there a way to turn a non-anonymous old question into an anonymous one?
We do have a way to anonymize old posts. Doing this does somewhat decrease the value of the questions to the community -- since people answered it with a user in mind and some answers may not make sense -- so it is not something we do lightly. However, we will anonymize old questions rarely, if it's important. Contact a mod if you want this done. Please do not ask questions under your real name that you plan to anonymize later. (tags: askmeanonymousanonymeaskmetafilterprivacy ) March 28, 2008 - permalink - back to questions
Why are some people's answers in AskMe highlighted in their own box?
This is what it looks like when the original question asker highlights a best answer. Best answers are chosen by the original asker of the question. A question can have multiple best answers. The answers can be either the "right" answer or answers that the asker found useful in some way. When an answer is marked as a best answer it's highlighted in its own box on the AskMe question page and the user with the best answer sees a check mark next to the question on their list of answers off their profile page. There is also a green check mark next to the question on the main AskMe page. (tags: askmebestanswercheckmarkgreentickaskmetafilter ) November 10, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
How do I mark my question as "answered" (e.g. green check mark)?
Once you've selected a comment or comments as a best answer by clicking on the "Mark as best answer" link next to a comment, your AskMe question will show up with a green check mark on the main page. It's fine to choose best answers whenever you want, but some people may see your question as "answered"if you choose best answers early. (tags: answersbestanswersaskmeaskmetafilter ) December 29, 2009 - permalink - back to questions
Why can't I remove a 'stumped' or a 'resolved' tag from my AskMe question?
The tags 'resolved' and 'stumped' have a special meaning and are treated differently at Ask MetaFilter. A question with either of these tags shows up in different places on the site to help others find them. A question tagged with 'resolved' appears in the list of Resolved Questions on the Answered Questions page. Questions tagged with 'stumped' appear in the Stumped Questions list on the Unanswered Questions page. This gives people interested in seeing complete answers or helping with particularly hard questions an easy way to find them.
Because these tags move the questions into different areas of the site, questions can only be tagged 'resolved' or 'stumped' once. This prevents the question from appearing at the top of these lists more than once.
MetaTalk is the part of the site for talking about the site itself. People often use it for discussing policy and etiquette questions with the mods and other users, making feature requests, or asking questions about the site itself. Sometimes it's used for pointing out a notable media mention of MetaFilter or a MeFite, or announcing a site event like a contest. Other times it's just used for finding MeFites in other places such as online games or other activities.
Here are some things to think about before posting to MetaTalk:
-Do not post to MetaTalk if you really just want to ask the mods a question or bring something to their attention. (For example if you are curious about something, but don't necessarily want a community discussion about it.) The best way to do this is always to use the contact form, which will reach whoever is on duty.
- Please make bug reports after you have tried some basic troubleshooting steps and only if you feel that your problem may affect other MeFites. (The contact form is a good option here too.)
- If you are raising a concern about a specific user or a specific thread, please make your post specific. Link to the example you are talking about, and explain your concern without provocative language and phrasing if you want people to take your post seriously. If you are tempted to post just in order to vent, consider taking some time to cool off first. (tags: metatalketiquettepolicybugs ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
I think I found a bug. Should I post it to MetaTalk?
I have a request for a new feature. Should I post it to MetaTalk?
MetaTalk is the perfect place to ask. There is even an entire category dedicated to it. You can look through that MetaTalk category, or at the Mefi Wiki category Mod explanations, which has a short list of some previously denied feature requests, to see if your idea has been discussed before.
There are a few reasons why MetaTalk threads are closed. The main reason is for threads with very specific requests -- typo fixes, double post deletions -- that don't require additional discussion once the problem is solved. These can often be resolved more simply with an email or IM to an admin. Sometimes a thread duplicates an existing open MetaTalk thread, devolves into noise and/or a trainwreck, or was a joke thread to begin with. MeTa posts that are just updates from closed posts on MetaFilter are often closed with the suggestion to make a new post if the update is a big deal, but not use MetaTalk as a place for posts that aren't right for MetaFilter.
What's the policy on spoilers in threads at FanFare?
We'd like the front page of FanFare to be spoiler-free, so please limit above-the-fold descriptions of a show to the basics. Inside threads, feel free to discuss any plot point in that episode or past episodes, but please refrain from discussing events that take place in future episodes. Also, please be considerate and refrain from discussing future events from other book/film/tv/comic versions of the story. (Note, this policy is different in threads that are labeled "Rewatch" or "Books Included.") (tags: spoilersfanfare ) April 17, 2014 - permalink - back to questions
What do the "First Watch", "Rewatch", "Show Only", and "Books Included" labels in FanFare mean?
We have some optional special labels for TV show posts on FanFare. They are used sparingly on posts and each label is defined below:
First Watch - Applied to shows that have long since been aired, but the person making the post has never seen them. Please no spoilers about future episodes or events from later in the series.
Rewatch - Applied to shows being watched again by viewers that are up to date on the show and have seen them before, but are rewatching the shows again (usually from the very start). Spoilers about later episodes can be freely shared here.
Show Only - A special case (example: Game of Thrones) where books are farther into the future than the shows, these discussions are for viewers that have only seen the show. Any discussion from the books should not be mentioned.
Books Included - A second half of the special case above (again, with Game of Thrones as the example) where any spoiler already covered in books is fair game. Anyone viewing these threads is assumed to have read the books and seen the shows. (tags: fanfaretvspoilers ) June 5, 2014 - permalink - back to questions
What is MetaFilter Projects?
MeFi Projects is a space in the MetaFilter universe for members to toot their own horn and link to something that they have done - typically a completed project on the web. Projects has built in mechanisms so that people can give a post the thumbs up, either through clicking the vote link to give it a thumbs up, or clicking the "post this project to mefi" button on the project's permalink page. People can also send comments to the original poster of the project. More information can be found here. (tags: mefiprojectsprojectsselflink ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
What is MetaFilter Music?
MetaFilter Music is a site for members to upload their own songs for others to enjoy and share. MeFi members can upload up to one song per day, MP3 only, with a 10Mb limit. Please upload covers sparingly. Please do not upload things that are not your own work in some way - this includes work by your friends and mashups of copyrighted stuff.
Any logged in user can listen to the music or make music playlists. The site is not intended to be a hosting service to be linked to externally and it's not intended to be promo space for your band. This is the MetaTalk thread announcing it. This is the tags page for it.
IRL is the subsite for organizing meetups and get-togethers with other site members In Real Life (IRL). There is a feature in IRL meetup threads that allows users to link to photos of their meetup. When this option is used, a little icon of a photograph shows up next to the meetup location in the MeTa sidebar.
To see what meetups are coming up, look at the Proposed, Future, or Upcoming tabs, or use the search box to find events by location. Upcoming meetups are listed in the sidebar of MetaTalk as well. You can see past meetups in a similar way. (Historically meetups were organized in Metatalk's meetups category, if you want to look back at some historical meetup threads.)
To propose a meetup, begin with the New Event form linked in the header of IRL. Your meetup will initially appear in the Proposed tab. When a meetup is proposed, people can work out the details in the comments section. When details are finalized, you can switch your meetup over to Confirmed and it will show up as a Future or Upcoming event. IRL threads track "yes" and "maybe" responses from users planning to attend.
If a meetup needs to be cancelled, or just isn't coming together, you can note that with a comment in the thread and contact a mod to close the thread.
To be notified about upcoming meetups in your city, go to your profile page. If you have entered a location for yourself, under "Contact Preferences" you will be able to check a box for IRL notifications. (tags: IRLsubsitemeetups ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
What is the podcast? Are transcripts available?
The Metafilter Podcast usually features mathowie, jessamyn, and cortex, talking about the last month or so on the site (and whatever else is on their minds). It usually runs between an hour and two hours. You can find links to all the stuff discussed in an episode if you click into that episode's thread.
The mods don't create a transcript with the podcast, but there has been a volunteer effort to create transcripts for the podcasts on the MeFi Wiki. Podcasts with completed transcripts will have a little yellow "transcript" badge next to them on the main podcast page, or see this list of all the existing transcripts.
MetaFilter Chat is a group space where MetaFilter members can talk to each other in real time. It was first set up for the 2012 US election night (MeTa thread), and has been running on a trial basis since.
We ask that people:
1. Keep Chat separate. Don't bring interpersonal stuff to Chat from the main site, and vice versa.
2. Keep Chat civil. Normal "Don't be an asshole" guidelines apply. Harassing or bullying other members is a bannable offense.
Users should be aware that Chat transcripts are logged. Contact us if you are having trouble connecting or want to report a problem.
You log in using your MetaFilter username and password, but with some small changes. You can use Chat from a web browser or a chat client.
Using a web browser:
The easiest way to try it out is to click on the "Chat" link at the top of the page, or visit chat.metafilter.com in your browser. Use your MetaFilter username and password.
Using a chat client:
The chat server uses the Jabber/XMPP protocol. If you don't want to use a browser-based chat, you can also connect with various Jabber clients that support group chat. These include Adium, Pidgin, or Spark. On an iPhone, JabberB and OneTeam both work with the MeFi chat server. Android users can try Jabiru. And there's a longer list of clients for various systems here.
To log in with a chat client, format your MetaFilter username as a Jabber ID. Use all lowercase, even if your MetaFilter username contains uppercase letters:
(This whole string is your Jabber ID.) If your username contains spaces or punctuation, for chat clients you'll also need to escape those characters. To escape a space, use \20. (For other special characters, see this link.) So a name like Example User would login using:
If you use an alternate client, you'll also need to know the name of the group chat room:
The MetaFilter Wiki is an unofficial collaborative wiki run by Pronoiac. The purpose of the Wiki is to produce and maintain a general guide to MetaFilter. It is editable by anyone, whether they are a MetaFilter user or not. There is a lot of good information there, especially about site history, specific users, and community norms and behaviors. (tags: wiki ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Some subsites or old projects of Metafilter itself are still around too. On the site's 12th anniversary, members submitted some of their favorite memories of the site for the commemorative site Metafilter Memories. The Shadowy Back Alleys page on the Mefi wiki has a list of some other miscellaneous bits-and-pieces from Metafilter's past. (tags: spinoff ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Is there an archive of MetaFilter April Fools Day pranks?
What is the Infodump? Does Mefi release other data for study?
The Infodump is Mefi's regularly-updated published collection of site statistics. It includes a great deal of information about posts, comments, tags, categories, favorites, and user behavior concerning all of those. The Infodumpster was created and is run by user Combustible Edison Lighthouse. It is a convenient way to run searches on the information from the Infodump.
I'm having a problem, might be a bug. What should I try before contacting the mods or posting to MetaTalk?
There are a few things you should try before contacting the mods or reporting a bug in MetaTalk.
1. Clear your cache and do a hard refresh. Here are Wikipedia's instructions on how to do this with various browsers.
2. Log out and log back in again.
3. See if the problem persists across multiple computers and/or internet connections and/or browsers if you can.
4. Check to see if you are running browser extensions that may interfere with site features. Try disabling them.
5. Make sure you are allowing googleapis.com and cloudfront.net to run scripts on the site. [Why?]
6. Check to see if you are in Private Browsing mode, which can sometimes cause weird site behaviors.
Someone threatened me or threatened to harm themselves. What should I do?
Threats are not okay on MetaFilter. If you believe you are being threatened by another user, please disengage and contact the mods. Threatening or harassing people over MeFi Mail or indirectly via profile page comments is potentially a bannable offense. You can block MeFi Mail on a per-user basis by scrolling to the bottom of a MeFi Mail from them and clicking "[Block this sender]" To unblock users you can go to your Contacts page on MeFi Mail and click "manage blocked senders" at the bottom of the page.
Threats of self-harm impact our ability to keep people's personal information private and are not okay on MetaFilter. There is a wiki page of resources for people who feel that they are in crisis or need professional help: ThereIsHelp. Suicide threats in comments, MeFi Mail, or on profile pages will be dealt with quickly. Please contact the mods if someone on the site appears to be threatening self-harm or suicide. (tags: suicideselfharmthreatsmemailmetatalk ) June 4, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
What is being done to prevent bullying on MetaFilter?
We would like to have an atmosphere on MetaFilter in which bullying--specific and repeated harassment of another user with indimidation or silencing tactics--is not okay. Here are some things to know if you think you are being bullied or are witnessing bullying
1. Harassment over MeMail is a bannable offense. If someone is harassing you over MeMail, you can block them from sending you MeMail, and contact the mods and we will look into the situation and take action.
2. Utilizing the Brand New Day option and continuing to harass users through a new username is likewise against the rules.
3. MetaFilter or AskMe comments that repeatedly target and harass specific users are not okay. Site policy issues ["Why isn't this person banned?"] need to go to MetaTalk or directly to the mods.
Keep in mind that in many cases refusal to respond is often the best path to take if you are in a one-off situation where you feel the mods need to step in. If you are in an ongoing situation with another user, we expect you to do your best to not engage with that user and/or bring your problems with their behavior to the mods. (tags: bulliesmemailbullyingharassment ) November 14, 2011 - permalink - back to questions
A sketchy or inappropriate ad is showing on the page. What can I do?
Copy the URL that the ad is pointing to and send it to the mods through the contact form, telling us what the ad said and where on the page you saw it. This allows us to get it blocked. Metafilter does not pre-approve the advertisements that are shown; we can only catch the bad ones if users send us their URLs. See here for more about how advertising works on Metafilter. (tags: adsadvertisingthedeckgoogleadsenseoffensive ) December 20, 2012 - permalink - back to questions
How can I switch to the mobile view of the site?
Normally if you are browsing from a phone or other small screen, the mobile view of the site should come up automatically. If it doesn't, you can go to mobile.metafilter.com to tell the site you want the mobile view for this device.
It looks like I am logged in with some other person's username. What's up?
This can happen if you work at a big company or are using a big cache server (either university, cable company, or Google). It means the front page was saved by another member also on that system in the last x minutes and you're getting that person's copy instead of a fresh one from the server. You can not post/comment as anyone else, since your user information is pulled from your cookie information. (tags: loginusername ) January 7, 2007 - permalink - back to questions
Why doesn't the timestamp in live preview match the time in my actual timezone?
The live preview doesn't match the post time because when live preview was implemented it was too much of a hassle to make it work. Your comment will be posted with your the correct timestamp for your timezone. If your timezone is set incorrectly, you can change this in your profile. (tags: timezonetimestampprofilepreview ) March 14, 2007 - permalink - back to questions
I can't see video content linked in a post. What can I do?
Some sites have geographically restricted content which means that people in different countries may not be able to view the video. Common sites that do this include Hulu.com [not viewable outside the US, possible workaround for Canada] and some BBC content [not viewable outside of the UK, possible workaround], some Comedy Central programming [possible workaround] Pandora and Spotify. This site has a longer list of sites with video content that may be geographically restricted. This site will allow you to check if your YouTube video is geographically restricted. There are ways to circumvent some geographical restrictions using proxies, some of which are linked in this entry.
Generally, posts that only contain links to content that is entirely geographically restricted are problematic and it would be good if people attempted to find region-free content to link to. If content is determined to be restricted once a post is made, mods may remove the post. However if people can find alternative links to the same or similar content, that would be helpful. (tags: video,geographicalrestrictions,youtube,proxies ) May 4, 2010 - permalink - back to questions
Why did my HTML get screwed up, when it was fine in live preview?
I get an error saying: 400 Bad Request, Size of a request header field exceeds server limit. What is this?
This is caused by an old version of the "Metafilter Scroll Tag" script. The same old script can also cause intermittent logging out for some browsers. The full error message is: 400 Bad Request - Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand. - Size of a request header field exceeds server limit.
Who is in charge here? Are there admins and moderators like other sites?
The moderators are: mathowie, cortex, pb, vacapinta, restless_nomad, taz, goodnewsfortheinsane, LobsterMitten. jessamyn is retired.
The best way to reach a moderator is to use the contact form, which emails all of the mods. The site is staffed 24/7, and the contact form will reach whoever is on duty.
All the moderators are also regular site members, so you may see them around participating just like anyone else. When a moderator leaves an official moderation comment, the comment will appear [in small type, in square brackets]. You can confirm someone is a moderator by looking at their profile page. They'll have a "staff" badge under their profile picture. The "staff" badge also shows up next to their name on comments in the MetaTalk area of the site (if the person was a mod at the time of the comment; it does not show up on old comments from before the person became a mod).
Some history: MetaFilter was created by Matt Haughey (mathowie) in 1999. He was the sole admin of the site until 2005 when Jessamyn West (jessamyn) started helping keep Ask MetaFilter on track. In March 2007 Josh Millard (cortex) started helping out around the place. pb keeps the back end running smoothly and does bugfixes and feature builds. In May 2008 vacapinta became the unofficial "Midnight Mod", checking in a few times during the North American night, and in April 2011 Jeremy Preacher (restless_nomad) came on to keep an eye on things over the weekend. October 1, 2011 saw the first regular non-US mod when taz joined the team. In 2012 LobsterMitten and goodnewsfortheinsane joined the team as "floater" mods. In May 2014, due to a budget crunch, jessamyn retired, and LM and gnfti cut back hours sharply. All of the mods watch the flags pile up, delete questionable posts, occasionally post to the sideblog/Best Of blog, and settle any disputes that might arise. (tags: modsMetaFilteradminsmoderationaskmetafiltermetatalkfanfareprojectsirljobschataskmemusic ) March 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
I need to get in touch with a site admin in a hurry. How do I do this?
Here is a link to the Contact Form. It will reach whoever is working; this is the quickest way to get most problems resolved. When you use the contact form, an email is sent to all of the admins, and whoever is working will respond. The response will go to your email address, not to MeFi Mail.
Do not use MeFi Mail to get in touch with an admin in a hurry. Admins often disable MeFi Mail when they're not available to handle site issues.
IM or chat is another other good way to get through to the site admins in a hurry:
AIM: mathowie, jeremypreacher
gtalk: mathowie, nnncortex, taz.at.mefi, pbausch, jpreacher, gee.email, lobstermittens (tags: modsadminsmetatalkimcontact ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
How can I tell if a comment was made by a moderator?
On MetaFilter and AskMetafilter, moderators use small type and square brackets to indicate they are making an "official" comment:
[Mod comments look like this.]
Moderators are also regular users of the site, and they also participate in threads in a non-official capacity. If you're not sure how a specific mod comment is meant, ask using the contact form. If you're not sure if someone is a moderator, see the list of moderators here.
On MetaTalk, moderators are identified by a little "staff" badge next to their username. The staff badge is always "on" in MetaTalk.
What is flagging? How can I flag a post/comment for the moderators to look at?
Members have the ability to flag posts and comments for a variety of reasons. Flags alert the mods to problem posts and comments, and indicate the level of severity of a problem post.
To flag something, click the [!] link by the post or comment.
When you flag something, the flag goes into a queue read by the mods. All flag reasons go into the same queue, so don't get stressed about the exact reason for flagging. If you think your reason for flagging will be hard to understand (for example a non-obvious problem with a link) you can use the contact form to explain.
Moderators will look at every flagged item, but not every flag will result in obvious action. Even those flags can be helpful, though, for example putting a contentious discussion on the mod's radar, or allowing the mod to email someone behind the scenes.
There is no need to flag 20 comments in a thread, because a moderator will read the thread when checking out the first few flags; please flag only the most important. Flags are generally used for current comments and threads, so flagging old posts and comments doesn't usually result in any action. Here is a good summary of when to consider using the flag feature.
FIAMO stands for "flag it and move on" and is a good first step with problematic posts or comments.
The reason I want to flag something isn't listed, what should I do?
We encourage people to use the flagging feature. At the same time, the list of reasons isn't supposed to be an all-inclusive list of when you should [and shouldn't] flag things. Flagging something means you are bringing it to the mod team's attention. We interpret the flags in a few very basic ways.
- look at this quickly [offensive/breaks guidelines]
- look at this soonish [noise/derail/other]
- repair something [HTML error/double comment]
If none of these seem to fit, please feel free to just flag something as other or drop us a note via the Contact Form and let us know what's up. (tags: flagging,flags ) July 5, 2011 - permalink - back to questions
What's up with banning? What does one see when they've been banned from MeFi?
Users who have been banned will not be able to log in to MetaFilter or access MeFiMail or their Recent Comments page. If they are already logged in, they will be unable to comment or post. There will be a small "this account has been disabled" notice on the user page of banned users.
If a user is already logged in, they will not be able to post or comment on the site. Banning is usually temporary, but sometimes permanent. Giving someone a "timeout" means their account has been banned for a short time.
Banworthy offenses include self-linking on MeFi, spamming the site with promotional links, abusing the site with excessive trolling comments or nonsense, excessive jokiness or snarkiness in AskMe, or over-the-top harassment or "outing" personal information of other users. Short term bans or timeouts automatically expire after a given amount of time. (tags: banningbanninationtimeoutbanhammerprivacy ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions
Can I come back to MetaFilter after I have been banned?
With a few exceptions, people who have been banned from MetaFilter may return under our Brand New Day policy. BND means that a user can sign up with a new account and mods will not "out" that user as being someone who held an account previously. This is a courtesy we extend to people who feel ready to change a problematic old persona, and it comes with certain expectations of good faith effort to change the old behavior. Users who open a new account and continue problematic behavior that caused their old account to be banned may lose the right to use that new account and/or set up new accounts.
MetaFilter carries a bit of advertising space devoted to Google's Adsense keyword-matching text and image ads, and small image ads on the front pages of subsites from The Deck Network. If you are a member of MetaFilter, you won't see any ads on comment threads but you may see the occasional small ad on the front pages of each subsite (which you can turn off). Ads from Google's Adsense program are automatically generated and matched and aren't approved ahead of time.
If you spot an annoying, obnoxious, and/or offensive ad, your best bet is to note the URL of the site it's pointing to... then use the contact form to let us know where you saw the ad, what it said, and the URL of the site it led to, and we'll be able to filter it out of the ad system.
Moderators have access to your sign-up information and other information, such as your IP address. That information may be used for site purposes (such as checking out potential spammers), but it is kept strictly private from other members and the wider internet. This means that if you choose not to display your real name, email address or location to other members, moderators will not reveal it. Mods also will not reveal the identity of second (sockpuppet) accounts as linked to your main account if you do not reveal this.
Members are also expected to respect each other's privacy in certain basic ways. Members' profile page information is not visible to search engines and should not be brought over to the rest of MetaFilter. Similarly, copying and pasting MefiMail to any other part of the site without the writer's permission is a bannable offense.
In emergencies--cases where someone has threatened to harm themselves, or if we are contacted by law enforcement--we cannot guarantee user privacy. Likewise, the Anonymous question function in Ask Metafilter is only intended to keep your details anonymous from the MeFi community, not to provide absolute anonymity--see here for details.
Metafilter occasionally allows use of site data for academic study and there is an Infodump available for number crunchers. Members can download a copy of their site activity as a text file (see links at the bottom of your Preferences page).