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According to the MetaFilter guidelines, a post should include a "link to something interesting on the web". Link-less posts were discouraged because there wasn't something pointed to that can be used as a common basis for discussion. Despite the fact that from the very beginning Matt Haughey has discouraged the use of the site as a general discussion board, originally the site did not enforce the requirement that a link be included in a post. In almost every case these threads were immediately deleted. Linkless posts spawned their own in-joke, Pancakes.