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17 FAQ tagged with MetaFilter

How do I sign up for a MetaFilter account?

Go to the New User page to read about accounts and follow the link to sign up and pay for the account. The current sign-up fee is $5 and is the only cost associated with using the site. Once the PayPal payment is completed, your account will be active and you will be allowed to post comments on various MetaFilter threads. Please note that there is a waiting period to post to MetaFilter and Ask MetaFilter.
(tags: ) February 15, 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: ) November 16, 2006 - permalink - back to questions

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: ) October 18, 2007 - 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:
(tags: ) January 25, 2013 - permalink - back to questions

Can I post a fundraiser, or a petition for a worthy cause?

No. Open fundraisers (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc) are against the rules on all parts of the site, but you can post the project once the fundraising period has ended. Petitions and related "like our cause on Facebook"-style campaigns are also off-limits. If you have a Kickstarter for your project, there is a mathowie-curated page on Kickstarter for projects by MeFites. Contact him to get your Kickstarter added.
(tags: ) March 1, 2013 - permalink - back to questions

Can I post a link to CNN if there's a breaking news story that hasn't been posted yet?

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: ) March 6, 2006 - 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: ) March 6, 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]

Please note: Your FPP is no indication of your value as a human being. (Unless you are self-linking, spamming, or deliberately causing a problem. Then, you suck.)
(tags: ) April 20, 2006 - 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: ) April 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions

Should I add a [via] link if I found it from another site?

No. Many people do this as a courtesy, but it is in no way mandatory. Adding a [via] comment to someone else's post is often considered rude and/or annoying.
(tags: ) April 23, 2006 - 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.

In both cases, if you don't put anything in the extended description/extended explanation box, then the words [more inside] will not be added.
(tags: ) July 21, 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: ) March 27, 2007 - permalink - back to questions

Why was my MetaFilter comment deleted?

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: ) March 5, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

Where can I find a list of common lingo and Mefi-specific abbreviations?

The MetaFilter wiki is a good place to get an idea of the in jokes that people use on MetaFilter. You may also want to check out the Orientation page for other things that might be useful for a new user.
(tags: ) January 19, 2008 - 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: ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

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.

Moderators have a "staff" badge on their profile pages, 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.

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.

Now they all watch the flagged posts pile up, delete questionable posts, occasionally post to the sideblog, and settle any disputes that might arise. You can email all the mods at once using the contact form.
(tags: ) March 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions

Who owns the copyright on MetaFilter content?

On the footer of every MetaFilter page is: © 1999-2014 MetaFilter Network Inc. All posts are © their original authors. What this means is that people own their own content. So if you wanted to publish a book of your own MetaFilter comments, you could. However if you wanted to publish a book of other people's MetaFilter comments you'd need to speak with those individual users; MetaFilter is not the owner of the copyright of that content. People have, however, granted MetaFilter the right to display their comments. MetaFilter will generally go after websites that are making wholsale reproductions of MetaFilter content, but limited content quoting is considered fair use and will be treated as such.
(tags: ) June 20, 2012 - permalink - back to questions