What is consideration?
Consideration is the process whereby the general population of the
Monastery keeps the site clutter free, by cleaning up badly
formatted/titled nodes and petitioning for reaping of undesirable posts.
However, general Monks do not have the power to modify or delete other
people's posts directly; only the janitors and gods can do that.
The consideration process lets experienced monks advise the janitors
on what clean-up actions might be needed.
Consideration is an activity of "senior monks", which is to say, monks who
have attained at least Friar. In the following description,
"Friar" is used as an alias for that rank and all ranks above it
— in much the same way that "Monk" is a universal alias for all denizens of
the Monastery, not just users of Level 9.
How it works
Given a node that needs cleaning/reaping, one Friar
"considers" a node, bringing the node to the attention of
the other Friars, who vote on whether that action
should be taken.
The janitors monitor this voting, and use it in determining
whether to perform the requested (or any other) action.
Please note that the janitors are not bound by the results
of the consideration voting. For further detail, see What do Janitors do?
The first part, "marking for consideration", is available to Friars
via a tool in the Approval nodelet on nodes which are
subject to consideration. Don't consider a node unless you feel
strongly that something specific should
be done. Remember that there are many other Friars who should
be given the opportunity to consider if you don't have a
clear idea of what should be done. Only consider a node if you can
precisely and concisely describe the action that should be considered.
If the node isn't already up for consideration, the Approval nodelet
will contain a checkbox labeled "Consider node:", a button labeled
"moderate", and a text box in which to type the necessary details.
In the text box, request a specific action (edit, reap, retitle, move,
etc.) and concise but complete info such as node id for duplicates,
or specific proposed title.
If the node has been marked for consideration, the Approval nodelet
will show who did it, and why.
It will also appear in the Nodes to consider list.
Conveniently, the word "Considered:" in the Approval nodelet
is a direct link to Nodes to consider.
The Approval nodelet
will also present any voting on the consideration
which is available to you, i.e.:
If you're a janitor, you will be presented with the opportunity
to blow away the current consideration, via an unconsider vote option,
if the vote tally is at least 2 edit votes or 4 keep votes.
Gods can unconsider without restriction.
- keep/edit/reap/nada radiobuttons for voting, if you haven't yet;
- the current vote tally, if you have.
Even though the Approval nodelet contains tools related to both
consideration and moderation, be sure not to confuse the two.
Highly recommended background reading: How do I use the power of consideration responsibly?
How do I mark a node for consideration?
In the Approval nodelet,
check the "consider this node" box,
and in the text box type the requested action and your reason for the consideration.
(Don't include your name; it will be automatically prepended to the message.)
Submit the form and watch the magic happen.
Consideration is a means of requesting actions from janitors that only they can perform.
The following is a list of common janitor-only actions you can recommend when
marking a node for consideration.
(Others are possible; use your best judgement.)
Please abbreviate appropriately.
- Change a node's title (Title)
Please include an exact suggestion for the new title —
and make sure it is a substantial improvement and doesn't contain typos.
We generally only retitle to improve searchability.
See How do I compose an effective node title? for a comprehensive discussion of what makes a bad (and thus
- Clean up a node's formatting (Format)
Usually just the addition of <code> or <readmore>
tags, or fixing long lines inside of <pre> tags.
In such cases, if the node is user-editable, the first course of action should be
to just /msg the author about it.
But if they are unresponsive, then consideration is the next step.
- Move a node to a different section (Move to ...)
Unapprove a node from its current section (Unapprove)
Sometimes someone approves a node, and you find you disagree with that decision.
Other times, you may feel that the section into which a node was approved
was not the best choice.
In these cases, you can recommend that the node be unapproved, and,
if appropriate, moved to another single, specific section.
Only unapproved nodes can be moved from one section to another.
The following sections are the only ones that support moving of root nodes to/from
them via the Approval nodelet:
Janitors can move snippets to the Code Catacombs and to the sections
listed above. Occasionally someone will consider a node in order to have it moved
to/from some other section not listed above. In these cases, the node should be
unconsidered, because "you can't get there from here".
Though root nodes can be moved to Tutorials,
the most appropriate tutorials are usually written to be such.
Just because a node is popular and informative doesn't mean it makes a good tutorial.
Also take the wishes of the author into account.
For these reasons, generally if an author posts a node as a Meditation,
we will respect his decision and not act on requests to move to Tutorials.
The idea is to only move nodes that are specifically off-topic in the section in which they were posted.
(Distinct from the above, QandAEditors can convert nodes from Categorized Questions and Answers to
Seekers of Perl Wisdom — which, unfortunately, is all too common a need.)
Janitors should read Janitors' Guidelines for the slightly counterintuitive
method behind moving nodes.
- Reap a node (Reap)
Please only do this for true troll posts and
true duplicate posts.
Guidelines for Troll Posts
Only blatant, egregiously offensive troll posts should
be considered for reapage.
For useless, stupid, off-topic, and annoying nodes:
- if it is a root node, then don't approve it for any section.
- if it is a reply, just ignore it. (Downvote it if you wish.)
When a node is reaped, its skeletal remains are tagged with the
reason from the consideration.
Be aware that inappropriate considerations can be removed by the
janitors; similarly, nodes reaped for inappropriate reasons can
be unreaped by the gods.
Therefore, when considering a node for reap, take extra care in
what you write, to maximize conformance to site policy.
For example, a node can only be considered worthy of reapage
based on the merits of its contents, not on the reputation
of its author.
Guidelines for Duplicate Posts
True duplicates occur when a monk stumbits a post, hits the back
button, and stumbits again. Other reasons for considering something
as a duplicate — such as
"I gave the same answer as some other monk, but was slower" —
are not sufficient!
If you find a duplicate, please include a link to the
original node in your reason.
It can take some work to decide which of
the two duplicates should be reaped, especially if they are similiar,
if they have replies, or if they have both been approved.
Please don't rush to consider a duplicate for reaping.
Realize that there are likely several other good monks who also noticed
the duplicate and are likely to consider one of them. Never approve
a duplicate post until it is clear which one will be reaped. Even better:
wait until the other one has been reaped.
Check that the one you want to reap isn't already approved (especially that
it is not the only one that has been approved).
Announce in the Chatterbox which one you are about to consider,
requesting that the original author (if possible) or one of the janitors
modify the title so the fact that it is a duplicate is clear.
(The preferred modification is to prepend the text (DUP) to the title.)
Also, if both have already been approved, janitors should unapprove
the one to be considered.
Then wait before actually considering, and check the
chatterbox for other announcements regarding the duplicates.
All things being equal, it is usually better to keep the first node
and reap latter duplicates as the first node is the one most likely to
have a monk composing a reply to it while it is being considered, etc.
This is also why it is important to publically announce the intent to
reap the duplicate (at least in chatter, preferably also via a title
change) and then wait before taking any action (such as
"considering") that is not easy to undo. A little patience is helpful;
it's easy to make a mess and hard to clean it up when dealing with the
consideration and deletion of duplicates.
- Obscure a node (Obscure)
This is for the very rare
case of quite graphic material or material inviting legal action.
Obscuring a node is not necessarily permanent; the popular vote (via
replies or chatterbox) usually determines whether obscuring stays or
- Move a node to a different thread (Reparent)
All replies (that is, nodes of type note), and root nodes in the
Seekers of Perl Wisdom, Meditations, and Perl Monks Discussion sections, may be reparented
into a different thread.
What happens next?
See How does Nodes to Consider work? for more information on that process.
In any case, please don't call for votes in the Chatterbox,
but simply let things run their course.
It would undermine the integrity of the consideration system,
and increases the (however small) likelihood of abuse.
The people whose votes you want are the ones who are more
likely to be monitoring Nodes to consider on their own anyway!
Now that you know the basics, you need to develop judgement regarding
when to consider, and when to refrain from considering.
So please go read How do I use the power of consideration responsibly? Thank you.
Back to the PerlMonks FAQ