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I'm just curious why some humorous posts are allowed and others are closed and deleted (something I thought was considered bad practice).

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+1 for always-friday-in-iceland. And so you'll have more points to lose later. –  user27414 Mar 25 '10 at 14:03
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Link to examples of things that you think are jokes. –  XMLbog Mar 25 '10 at 14:08
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@nlfE I would but it was deleted. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 14:26
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@Qui-Gon: So? You said "some", implying more than one. Link "some" of them. –  XMLbog Mar 25 '10 at 15:11
    
@NlFE there is more than one, but those are also delete and I cant access them either. unless you know of a way? –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 15:34
    
@Qui-Gon: If you still happen to have the questions in your browser history, you can post the links here and NIfE (and all other 10k users) will be able to read them. –  mmyers Mar 25 '10 at 15:46
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Here's one hit by the community as not fitting: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43952/… –  random Mar 25 '10 at 16:29
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@Qui: If you're referring to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43952/…, that. really. was. not. funny. at. all. –  fretje Mar 25 '10 at 16:31
    
@random - yeah, I saw that. It didn't fit any memes and could be considered sexist - and the CS industry really doesn't need to widen the gap in the area of male/female programmers. –  Adam Davis Mar 25 '10 at 16:34
    
@random sure I post another one, completely G rated lets see how that does. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:36
    
@fretje funny according to whom? random might have some good points, but yours.. kinda lacking substance. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:37
    
@Qui - I think you are going about this the wrong way. Check out my post below for suggestions on posting 'funny' things to meta that have a chance of staying open. –  Adam Davis Mar 25 '10 at 16:44
    
@pollyanna I agree with most of it, great post. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:57
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@Qui: According to me, and apparently 3 other users who already up-voted my comment, and all the people who down-voted your question, not to mention those who flagged it, as it has been deleted. That's 6 votes against, so that's the community saying "No, that's not funny at all." If it was funny then it wouldn't have been wiped out like that. –  fretje Mar 26 '10 at 11:15
    
@fretje Please read my last few comments...things might make a bit more sense...simply, it has nothing to do with me or the joke. –  Locutus Mar 26 '10 at 13:14

6 Answers 6

up vote 13 down vote accepted

When funny items are most likely to be closed

If there are more than 1-2 "funny" items on the top 15 questions, I'll vote to close one or more of them, except on Fridays.

While it's good to have fun here, people do come here for help and suggestions, and having a constant stream of useless, offtopic items near the top of the front page can be discouraging, "Huh. I wonder if I came to the right place, and if they can even help me." We should avoid the appearance of clique-ish and/or exclusive behavior, even though there's a pretty strong community underneath meta.

Ok, so how do I be funny?

But if you want to be successful at posting a funny item, you'll need to participate in more of the regular questions to get a good understanding of the community, and to get people to know you a little bit. Once you believe you have a good rapport with others here, try something funny late Friday afternoon, when such things are most likely to be accepted. See what the community reaction is, and figure out why it did or didn't work. If nothing else, you'll generally get lots of feedback.

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If nothing else, you'll generally get lots of feedback. -- If I understand correctly, he's already got that part pretty much down. –  mmyers Mar 25 '10 at 16:48
    
@Pollyana honestly Im not interested in posting funny things. but I will give you a +1 for a constant stream of chachas useless offtopic items can be discouraging and the appearance of clique-sh. You summarized exactly what I was trying to accomplish. Thank you sir. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:56
    
Only reason there was 2 threads near on the top 15 was due to re-tagging. I didn't want the old one up there either. –  Tyler Carter Mar 25 '10 at 17:00
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@Chacha102 - I, and seemingly others, give a pass to older established fun questions when they pop back up on the front page. –  Adam Davis Mar 25 '10 at 20:03
    
Three and a half years later, this is still pretty solid advice. –  Anna Lear Dec 30 '13 at 8:11

I guess it depends on the community. You need 5 people to close it; if 5 are willing to do so it will get closed.

Personally I think many (but not all) of the joke posts aren't funny and are getting quite old, and I usually downvote them and sometimes even vote to close as off topic. Sometimes other people agree and they do get closed; most of the time they get upvoted, but I'm fine with that: as the FAQ says the website is ran by the community

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@Kop and what is needed to vote to close a post? Certain amount of rep? –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 14:27
    
@Qui-Gon: Yes, 3000. See that menu item at the top of the page labeled "faq"? Click on it. –  raven Mar 25 '10 at 15:44
    
@raven awesome, so only people with more than 3000 rep are considered "the community"? Therefore jokes are only allowed by the old school guys with lots of rep. P.S. I know the faq, I was setting up Kop but thanks for the help. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 15:47
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@Qui: quite frankly, yes. If you are new and don't have any rep you are not "the community" and you have no right to storm in here and dictate what we should or should not do. –  Andreas Bonini Mar 25 '10 at 15:57
    
@Kop Well Im not new, and I dont think I "stormed in" and dictated anything. Im just asking questions, or is that not allowed either? –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:17
    
@Kop LOL no wonder why you say that.. you just surpassed 3K yourself and when you get to 4K Im sure you will be saying 4K is the standard for "the community" etc. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:23
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@Qui: you are not asking questions, you are purposefully trying to identify black-and-white rules so that you can try and go as far as possible without breaking them to see what happens. The problem with this is that here there are no black-and-white rules. –  Andreas Bonini Mar 25 '10 at 16:39
    
@Qui I agree that you did just kind of storm in a start putting up a big fuss about questions. Especially since you have a whopping 21 rep... –  Tyler Carter Mar 25 '10 at 16:40
    
@Chacha102: I think he was over 400 at one point. –  mmyers Mar 25 '10 at 16:44
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@mmyers If rep is suppose to judge how much the community trusts someone, getting 400 rep and then getting it revoked via Flags/Downvotes kinda says something about the content they produce. –  Tyler Carter Mar 25 '10 at 16:46
    
@Chacha102 Im just asking questions.. no storming here. They might be difficult questions but Im not sure I would consider that storming... unlike the FK Fk F**k post. Thats storming! –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:48
    
@Qui you've gone to several threads telling users to delete their questions because they are inappropriate for Meta. I call that storming in. (One of them even cost you 100 rep for being offensive) –  Tyler Carter Mar 25 '10 at 16:49
    
@mmyers It does on the Trilogy, yes but not on meta. I mean the rules are different here, right? you vote whether or not you agree with the post, not the poster. So the "boys club" doesnt like some ideas I have thats fine, its not going to deter me from helping. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:50
    
@Chacha several? name three... name two.. and were on META.. rep means nothing here. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:52
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@Qui meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43945/43947#43947 meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43903/… While both of them were closed, it is still not your place to go in and say what is acceptable. –  Tyler Carter Mar 25 '10 at 16:53

It's just like with the code golfs on Stack Overflow: As long as you don't understand which fun "questions" stand a chance to be well-received (you'll never know for sure), you shouldn't post any at all.

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@balpha or some trial and error. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 14:28
    
@Qui-Gon Jinn: That would be a "No." –  balpha Mar 25 '10 at 15:20
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No to what? I didnt ask a question. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 15:35

I guess it depends on how many users find it funny (ie: there isn't a rule for this, you just have to win the community over, and the best way to do it is with ponies and waffles).

Oh, and free hand circles for sure.

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Or when the OP is a girl (check the b'day cake topic). –  BalusC Mar 25 '10 at 14:01
    
I will post lots of waffles and ponies... I just hope there isnt a limit. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 14:01
    
Wow I'm more of a SF guy so I missed the cake topic. That was epic. –  Dynamo Mar 25 '10 at 14:14
    
@Qui-Gon: an example of (ab)using ponies for my benefit: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43621/… (just on meta tho, not SO) –  Ahmad Mageed Mar 25 '10 at 14:14
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@Dynamo the cake is a lie (man as much as this is overused I had to say it). –  Ahmad Mageed Mar 25 '10 at 14:17
    
Can someone actually LINK to cake thing? –  DVK Mar 25 '10 at 14:23
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@DVK there are 2 cake posts that I know of stackoverflow.com/questions/686216/… and stackoverflow.com/questions/2420689/surprise-for-a-programmer –  Ahmad Mageed Mar 25 '10 at 14:28
    
@Ahmad Mageed - as much as that is overused I had to upvote it. –  Rob Allen Mar 25 '10 at 16:32

There's a certain amount of tolerance for inside jokes (on MSO only). However, there is very little for unfunny and offensive jokes.

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@Jon who decides what is deemed funny? –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 14:29
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@Qui-Gon: If you have to tell people it's funny, it's probably not. (This has actually happened here.) –  mmyers Mar 25 '10 at 15:13
    
@mmyers, I dont recall ever telling anyone something is funny, I think thats a personal choice and I let the individual decide. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 15:36
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@Qui-Gon: No problem, I actually wasn't referring to you. I didn't even see the questions that got deleted this morning. –  mmyers Mar 25 '10 at 15:44

I never vote to re-open and/or undelete joke/fun posts. However, I vote to close/delete only some joke posts.

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Good man. Part of the answer is "Because Sinan takes an arbitrary, and capricious approach to dealing with non-technical content." Multply that by the many hundreds of users empowered to vote and... –  dmckee Mar 25 '10 at 15:49
    
@sinan sweet, now were getting somewhere, just tell me the rules for which you and the "many hundreds of users empowered to vote" use for keeping / deleting jokes and I will be sure to follow them. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 15:54
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@Qui-Gon Jinn I can't speak for anyone else and I refuse to speak for myself. It's a subjective gut feeling and I do not think my subjective evaluation of what is appropriate is always compatible with what everybody else thinks. All I know is, I do not post such content, I would not miss such content if it entirely disappeared. However, I only vote to get rid of content when I feel strongly against it because content is what brings the trilogy money. –  Sinan Ünür Mar 25 '10 at 16:00
    
@Sinan so youre saying that some joke posts bring the trilogy money? –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 16:14
    
Sure. The other day, I searched bing.com/search?q=easter+egg+in+code to show my girlfriend some examples of Easter eggs in code, and lo and behold, the SO thread was there. Now, I can imagine some other geek doing the same thing and clicking on some ads. –  Sinan Ünür Mar 25 '10 at 16:31
    
@Sinan I stand corrected, but what if someone was searching for jokes. :) just kidding. –  Locutus Mar 25 '10 at 17:02

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