5 FAQ tagged with stats

What should I know about privacy at Metafilter?

Please check our formal Privacy Policy which addresses points commonly raised in privacy laws.

And here is some more informal general info about social privacy expectations on our site. Moderators generally have access to identity info (your sign-up information, name, email, IP address, etc) that is used for site purposes such as preventing spam or other forms of account abuse. That info is kept private from other members and from the wider internet. We don't sell or rent or share user information to outside parties. 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 (such as location) is not visible to search engines and should not be brought over to the rest of MetaFilter. Similarly, copying and pasting Mefi Mail to any other part of the site without the writer's permission is a bannable offense.

On your own profile page, most information is optional to include, such as full name, email address, etc. Although it's not indexed by search engines, by default most of the information you share there is still publicly viewable, displayed to everyone including non-members. Links to your post and comment history, your contacts, and your favorites, are also displayed to everyone by default. You can choose not to share personal info on that page, and you can choose the "minimal profile" option to hide the links to your post and comment history, contacts, and favorites, from non-members. Much more detail on profile privacy settings.

On the site as a whole, your participation here is public. Your posts, questions, and comments are visible to the whole internet, and they will remain associated with your username permanently. Please think ahead about your own privacy needs, before posting personal information. If you need to ask about things that you want kept separate from your main username, you can get a second account that you use just for that. If you shared some privacy-sensitive info (such as your email address or location) in a comment in the past and now need that deleted, please contact us.

In emergencies--such as 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 public site data for academic study and there is an Infodump of public site data available for number crunchers. Members can download a copy of their comments on Metafilter, MetaTalk, and Ask Metafilter as a text file (see links at the bottom of your Preferences page).

As with anything here: if you have questions, just ask us.
(tags: ) December 12, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

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.

Mefi has also released the MetaFilter Corpus, a collection of linguistic information which can be used to find things out about how language is used on the site, and how that use has evolved over time.
(tags: ) December 12, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

How can I find out various MeFi statistics, like who has posted the most, or had the most favorites in a given month, etc?

You can try using the Infodumpster to find out. You can also look on the Mefi Wiki page on Meta-Analysis.
(tags: ) December 12, 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: ) December 13, 2008 - permalink - back to questions

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 -- note that, because members have requested it, this page doesn't show comments from the USPolitics megathreads. 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: ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions