|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
I was recently in a heated thread. The thread had wound down to a conclusion of sorts. As far as I knew it could be dropped and ignored.
However it appears that upon the request of one participant, the whole thread was deleted, without notifying other people in the thread, and without asking their opinions on the deletion.
I would like to ask that when posts are deleted, there be an automatic notification to the person whose post was deleted saying what was deleted and (if appropriate) a reason. I would also like to ask that as a matter of informal policy people be asked their opinion before their posts are deleted.
Since I was not consulted before my posts were deleted, please allow me to express my opinion. I think the way this site allows people to edit posts without leaving a trail is very unwise and will lead to problems. In this and other communities I have seen editing lead to people getting upset - both by accident and intent. I think that making people live with the consequences of what they said helps convince them to be careful of what they say before they say it. So in general I don't think that deletes should be done without specific good reason.
Being specific, there was in that thread nothing I said that I mind being left as a matter of public record. In addition several of the articles I referenced and things I mentioned were, IMO, of public interest. So based on content I think the thread should have been left.
The overall tone of the thread was generally not appropriate for the Monastery. I freely admit that, and people complained about that. However considering that the thread was over, I think the Monastery as a whole would have forgotten it and moved on. So I don't think that is a good reason to delete.
Now why was I uncharacteristically hostile? Well I have personal reasons. I happen to believe that the person I was dealing with has overall detracted from the Monastery. He definitely detracted from my experience of it. Therefore when I see him acting in ways I don't like, I am far more likely to comment than I would with other people. I don't ask for anyone else to agree or take sides. But I note that there is no other monk I would single out and say these things about.
Deleting those posts did nothing to change those opinions of mine. It will not stop me from acting on my opinions again should he continue acting in a way I dislike. (His swearing and accusations of lying etc did not improve my opinions any. Nor did his trying to hide the evidence that he did so by getting the thread deleted.)