The power to consider a node comes with great responsibility.
-- Friar (and strongly echoed in What is consideration?)

Recently, we've seen a number of new friars (and above) pitching in with the clean-up process. While it's nice to be able to catch the poorly-formatted nodes, the missing <CODE > tags, and the occasional "tpyo," a pattern (or two) appears to be emerging and some of us are becoming concerned.1

Specifically, we're seeing an increase in what may be called "inappropriate" Consideration requests. For example, titles are being changed when they don't need to be, off-topic nodes are being deleted out of hand (with no attempt to gently correct the posting monk's understanding of the site's primary focus), and (most seriously to my mind) the Reaper is being fed things that aren't in his dietary plan (such as "no effort" and "not perl").

Yes, each of these actions is occasionally needed; however, I would argue that some nodes are being Considered when they should simply be voted down.2

Before I explain that in more detail, please allow me to outline a few tenets that I believe the Monastery values most:

(I'm sure those can be put more succinctly and elegantly, but I hope you get the idea.)

So, what am I trying to say here?

Yes, we have deleted and edited nodes in the past. We've also had misgivings about those actions, some expressed privately. The point is, we have these tools because we do need them from time to time. However, let's not use them instead of the ones we're supposed to be using. If you don't like a node, vote it down and then tell the monk why you did so.

Please only offer a node for the Reaper when it:

Please do *not* offer nodes to the Reaper if it's:

Remember: these are only guidelines. If you're not sure if a node should be Considered, then please follow the directions in the FAQ and ask a more experienced monk before considering it.

Update: Also, please keep the same guidelines in mind when reviewing nodes under consideration. Don't trust the reason submitted by the considering monk. Review the situation carefully and make an informed choice. (If you don't have time, then please don't review the nodes.)

And if you feel a node should not be under consideration or are not sure, then vote Keep--especially if a Delete vote has been requested. Also, try to check the Reputation of the node before voting Delete. If it's not on worst nodes *OR* has replies, it will not be reaped.

Please do not request that the replies be re-parented just so a bad node can be reaped. That changes history....we don't like that (see above).8 </update>

If you would like to read more about the true purposes of the Consideration process, why it exists, and previous discussions about how it should be used, please review the following nodes:

As our fearless leader stated recently, we'd prefer the Monastery remain a place without a lot of hard and fast rules. We'd rather the Community policed itself, by exercising restraint and taking personal responsibility for personal actions. We'd rather not have to change the experience of the Many to account for the personal irresponsibility of a Few. However, we will do what's necessary to help everyone continue to enjoy the Monastery and learn from the wisdom of its members. If we can do this without code changes, all the better. If we can't, well...

On behalf of at least a few of the cleaning crew, thanks in advance...9



  1. How concerned? Enough to threaten a variety of rants and/or seriously consider changes to the current system.
  2. And, yes, I've been guilty of contributing to that as well. (Thanks for catching that, tye.) That's what led me to start thinking on this in the first place.
  3. I guess I felt disappointed with the way that turned out because I thought it was a perfect opportunity to help someone grow a little and I always felt that we failed to fully take advantage of that opportunity.
  4. This is one reason why I added a Welcome to the Monastery section to Tutorials. It was a small attempt to document the basic ideas in another commonly visited location.
  5. This requirement may change when nodes can be more easily moved between various sections and replies are easier to reparent. For the moment, however, please consider the work of those that've already replied. They should have a chance at being heard, too.
  6. Please see On Online Communication for some of my thoughts on this subject.
  7. Um, before posting one of these nodes, please try using a decent search engine or asking for a good place to look in the ChatterBox.
  8. And, yes, I've been guilty of this in the past as well. No longer...unless I truly feel it's necessary, such reparenting orphaned nodes.
  9. And thanks in the present to tye, chromatic, and the others who previewed this node and offered their input (which is definitely incorporated). Thanks also to zaxo who's reply prompted the update and reminded me of another point I'd originally wanted to make.

In reply to On Responsible Considerations by footpad

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