The Monastery has a tradition of general peace and tranquility punctuated by (thankfully) brief invasions of trolls. Our fearless leader has been working to help reduce the impact of these incursions and provided powerful tools that allow higher level monks to help moderate the content on the site.

These have proven useful and (sadly) necessary devices. However, I noticed something this morning that makes me vaguely uneasy. By describing it, I hope to stimulate a discussion on how we can best help each other provide the best feedback and help our newer members with their travels along the Perl Way.

As most of you know, one of most-recently inducted is having a bit of a time finding his (assumption) voice here. By which, I mean this initiate has made several posts, most of which have been (generously) less than appropriate. As a result, they've been appropriately considered or reaped, including at least a few from this morning.

One of this morning's plaints, while whiny, did ask a legitimate question about voting. With many misgivings (and not a little deliberation), I decided to try one last time to get through to our errant colleague. To that end, I carefully collected variety of nodelinks that I'd hoped would provide an opportunity that would be taken advantage of.

Sadly, the original post was deleted through consideration before I hit the Submit button. Via CB, I shortly discovered that another monk had also decided to respond.

Having a post in thread limbo doesn't bother me. I am concerned, however, at the (admittedly slim) possibility that some form of "personality consideration" may be manifesting.

I will be the first to admit that the initiate in question has brought it on himself. He's contributed little to date, demonstrated a surprising lack of taste, made extremely poor choices, and shown very little promise of becoming a valued member of the community.


Given the monastic traditions the site is based on, would it not be wise to hope that certain individuals can be reformed? After all, there were repeated attempts to help a certain monk during the last half of last year, in spite of some rather outlandish claims and poorly expressed ideas. Should we not continue this tradition, even when the most troubled and trollish of voices posts an honest (though whiny) question?

Delete is a powerful consideration and I respect the community's decision in making it in this case. If I'd been the only one suckered into answering the original post, I would have chalked it up to experience. However, I wasn't the only one and it's prompted me to reflect.

I am glad we have tools like Delete and the Reaper, however, I don't believe they should be used indiscriminately. Should not each node under consideration be taken at face value? Should we not offer every member the chance to learn, grow, and (perhaps most importantly) evolve beyond trolldom?

I welcome your thoughts...


Update: Thanks to the untiring efforts of the ever vigilant; the original thread has been restored. However, I think the ideas expressed so far are worth continued meditation.