6.16.2006

 

The Great Patriotic War Against Metafilter


PWTU's Second War
Part Four of PWTU's Ongoing Series: The Commies Are Coming


Regular visitors to this site will notice something different this morning: on your left, under our Fair and Balanced Link Roll, the entry for the webpage Metafilter is no longer there. Why would we remove the 25th most popular outgoing link from our blog? Simple: after deep reflection upon the evidence at hand we came to realize that Metafilter, a "community weblog", is actually communist in nature. Frankly we're ashamed it took us this long to realize the truth, but better late than never (or so many a menstruating woman has told us before).

Ahem. Anyway, because the Red Menace must be utterly wiped off the face of the globe (you're next, Belarus) the PWTU staff has voted unanimously to declare war on this scourge of the Internet. And as with our previous war (which ended with the humiliating capitulation of the enemy after only three days) we feel it necessary to explain to the world our reasons for this drastic action. After all, it's easy to make allegations about someone's communist leanings (so very, very easy); it's another thing entirely to prove them.

But we can prove them. Take for example the fact that Metafilter puports to be "community based", which suggests they consider everyone equal. That suggests that they feel everyone has a say, implying that they're democratic. Problem is that after you try to actually register for the site (so that you can post comments or suggest links) you discover they actually believe some people are "more equal than others": those of us willing to pay $5 get to actually complete their registration while those lacking the funds are basically told to take a hike.

And this sort of capitalism would be fine! We wouldn't mind them trying to make an honest buck or two off their site. The problem is that the monies they demand go to an exclusively small group whilst they pretend it contributes to the benefits of all.

In short, their system is designed to deny the real community, the community of all Internet-goers, from having a voice in what occurs on their site. Theirs is a one-party system , to be sure, and good luck joining that party (even if you smack down five hard-earned dollars).

The other symptom of Metafilter's communist disease is their use of secret police and totalitarian-like strong-arming. In the interest of full-disclosure we will be honest here: recently one PWTU staffer attempted to submit a link on this red-rag of a web-page, a link to our humble little blog. And the post went up, as it should, for about ten minutes before it was torn down-- utterly removed with nary an explanation by some Gestapo-like figure. Although this staffer had paid his $5 and had been a member since months before, his link went up and came down just like that.

There was no recourse: no appeal, no nothing. Not even a name of a person to contact to protest the link's removal. In other words, this particular PWTU staffer was not as equal as the shadowy figure who arbitrarily decided to deny his contribution.

Metafilter pretends to embrace a democratic form of link-sharing but doesn't even come close. We at PWTU understand the need to prevent spammers and their ilk from ruining a good site, but that goal can be accomplished without heavy-handed techniques when you allow a free and fair market to determine which links stay and which links go. On a "community based" weblog the people visiting it should be able to judge each submission on its own merits. And if and when an administrator should decide a particular post needs removal, some sort of recourse must be given to the submitter.

Otherwise it's just totalitarian, pretentious, and patently communist. And that's exactly what Metafilter has proven itself to be. We at PWTU urge everyone out there to spread the word: if you love freedom and abhor communist dictatorships, visit sites like I Am Bored, In4Mador, and del.icio.us instead of Meta-whatevah until, at least, we triumph in our war; as triumph we must...

...as triumph we shall. And as always, better dead than red!


(PWTU's First War) (Commies Are Coming Part Three)





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